Police identify woman who drowned in Parley’s Creek

Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-24 21:15:21-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Police have identified the woman who drowned trying to save her dogs in Parley's Creek on Sunday.

Police said Liudmilla Feldman, 58, jumped in after her dogs at Tanner Park around 6:30 p.m.

Despite the best efforts of her husband and a good samaritan, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Unified Fire just started this year's water rescue training and Unified Fire Captain, Jay Torgerson, said Sunday's drowning is a tragic reminder of how dangerous the conditions can be.

"Just a sad reminder of how quickly things can happen in or around moving water," Torgerson said.

A day after Feldman drowned trying to save her dogs, Unified firefighters are learning how to save victims like her.

"It's been a long time since there has been an accident like this at Tanner Park, but it can happen anywhere," Torgerson said.

Drownings can happen anywhere, anytime, but the water is much more dangerous this time of year.

"Our creeks and our streams and our rivers as the runoff is coming up as the snow is melting we’re going to see an increase in the amount of water that's coming down from the canyons and into our lakes," Torgerson said.

The water is swift moving and freezing cold.

"The temperatures of the streams are just above freezing and if you get in the water intentionally or accidentally it takes a matter of seconds or maybe even minutes before you’re overcome and you can’t do anything," Torgerson said.

Even an experienced swimmer faces dangerous conditions right now.

"Even during our training when we have equipment, we have life jackets, dry suits to keep us protected from the cold water, it can even be difficult for us," Torgerson said.

Don't let your eyes fool you.

"Often times when you see water it can look deceptively calm," Torgerson said.

Stay out of the water.

"We would advise people not to go in after your dogs or after anybody. If somebody goes in the water the best thing you can do is call 911 as soon as possible," Torgerson said.

Or go in prepared.

"Wear a proper life jacket, make sure you have a helmet if you’re kayaking and you’re in areas where your experience level accompanies the danger of it in the moving water," Torgerson said.

The CDC said there are 35,000 drownings a year. That's ten per day and that doesn't include boating accidents.