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Two brothers' bodies recovered from Utah Lake after apparent waverunner accident, drowning

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Posted at 9:52 AM, May 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-16 23:24:43-04

UTAH COUNTY — Search and rescue crews have recovered the bodies of two men who they believe drowned after an apparent waverunner accident on Utah Lake.

The Utah County Sheriff's Office says that around 1:30 a.m., a woman called to report that her husband hadn't returned after leaving around 4 p.m. Saturday afternoon to go ride a waverunner with his brother. The family had found the truck that the men were driving near the Knolls area on the west side of the lake. However, the men weren't there and many of their personal items were still in the truck.

Search and rescue officials responded, and they searched the area for several hours along with help from a Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter.

On Sunday morning, search and rescue officials and volunteers again started searching the lake. Between 2-3 hours later, searchers found the waverunner and then the bodies of the two men. They were found about a mile southeast of where they entered the water from the shore, UCSO wrote in a press release.

READ: Man found dead after possible drowning at Pineview Reservoir

Officials say the men were wearing life jackets, but it still appeared they drowned. The state medical examiner's office will perform an autopsy to confirm the cause of their deaths.

It is not yet known exactly what happened. Authorities have spoken to people who were camping in the area, who said the last time they saw the two men was when they both took off on the watercraft from the shore Saturday around 7 p.m.

The men were later identified as Jorge Anica, 33, and Victor Manuel Anica, 21. They are both from West Valley City.

A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to help their family with expenses.

The tragedy comes just over a year after two teenage girls went missing after going tubing in the Knolls area of the lake. Their bodies were found after a week-long search of the lake.