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TN man dies in attempt to retrieve hat at Deer Creek Reservoir

File Photo: Deer Creek State Park / Deer Creek Reservoir
Posted at 9:59 AM, Jul 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 12:12:42-04

DEER CREEK STATE PARK, Utah — A Tennessee man died Wednesday after drowning at Deer Creek Reservoir.

According to a news release from Utah State Parks, 71-year-old Daniel Nelson Thompson, of Newport, Tennessee, was boating with family and friends between Wallsburg Bay and the Rainbow Cove area at Deer Creek State Park.

"While boating, Thompson’s hat had fallen into the water and he jumped in the water to retrieve it. Thompson was not wearing a life jacket and was unable to remain afloat and keep his head above water," the news release said.

Another person on the boat jumped in to try to help Thompson but was unsuccessful. Others in the group then called 9-1-1.

A Utah State Parks law enforcement ranger quickly responded to the area to search for Thompson. Members of the Utah Department of Public Safety dive team, Wasatch County Search and Rescue and the Wasatch County Sheriff's Office also aided in the search for Thompson.

Crews found Thompson's body in 111 feet of water, about 300 feet from the shore, around 8:30 p.m.

"The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation extends our condolences to Thompson's friends and family. We would also like to thank the other agencies who assisted in this incident," the news release said.

Utah State Parks urges the people who use Utah's bodies of water for recreation to always use life jackets and swim with a buddy.