Herriman dentist hailed hero after rescuing man from Black Ridge Reservoir

Posted at 6:57 PM, Jul 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-07-22 08:55:30-04

HERRIMAN, Utah – A Herriman dentist is being called a hero after he rescued a man at Black Ridge Reservoir Sunday evening.

Dr. David Roth was taking a walk with his family when he saw a man swimming in the deeper part of the reservoir, screaming for help.

Roth said his intuition kicked in when he encountered three men trying to swim across the reservoir.

“They got to the middle of the reservoir and I could tell they started to struggle,” Roth said.

Roth rushed in to help. And as he made his way toward them he saw two of the men managed to secure a nearby raft. But a 24-year-old man cramped up and went under the water.

“When I got to him, he was panicking so I took a second to reassure him that I was going to help him,” Roth said.

Roth ended up putting all of the men in that raft and waited for crews to arrive. The man was taken to the hospital as a precaution. Roth said this scenario played out almost exactly like recent drownings and close calls at the reservoir.

He warns people to familiarize themselves with the reservoir.

“It’s a great reservoir. It’s a fun place to swim, but it’s deceptive because it’s small enough you can swim across. But big enough and cold enough water that you can get into trouble,” Roth said.

Unified Fire Authorities also caution people to know their limitations especially since there is no lifeguard and people swim at their own risk.

Crews are ready to respond to emergencies, but Desmond Johnson with Unified Fire Authority says, everyone should be vigilant. In the most recent cases, there are two things that really made a difference, first someone paid attention, second early CPR.

Since opening in 2009, crowds are getting bigger at the popular hot spot and bringing in new problems from people drinking alcohol, to leaving garbage behind to parking.

Tami Moody, spokeswoman for Herriman City, says they’re working on a solution.

“Additional parking spaces being added is something we could look into to reduce the impact of parking in front of people's homes,” she said.

City officials are calling on the public to come up with a viable solution that will allow residents to live comfortably while others can enjoy the reservoir.

A public meeting will take place July 28 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall to discuss these issues.