Authorities recover victim in deadly Memorial Day weekend drowning at Lake Pleasant

LAKE PLEASANT, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- It was a busy and deadly Memorial Day weekend on Lake Pleasant, as search crews with the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (MCSO) responded to two drowning calls, both deadly.

MCSO recovered the body of 49-year-old Ronald Hylton on July 13 more than a month after he had fallen off a jet ski and never resurfaced. There is no foul play suspected.

Crews combed the lake with divers and underwater equipment to look for his body. MCSO divers went on several dives, on back to back days, and that took its toll on the divers. Searchers face human limitations and physical challenges while recovering victims at the bottom of Lake Pleasant.

According to investigators, Hylton's 22-year-old daughter was operating a jet ski when it flipped over during a turn. The family is from California, and they have been going to Lake Pleasant for Memorial Day weekend for the past five years, for an annual family gathering.

"When you add a second person on a personal watercraft, it really does alter the buoyancy and center of gravity," said Det. Rob Marske with MCSO Lake Patrol.

The woman, who had a life vest on, survived. Her father struggled. She and relatives on shore saw him go under.

"Other family members asked him to put one on prior to leaving, and he declined," said Det. Marske.

MCSO divers have been scouring the lake, diving at depths from 20 to 90 feet.

"We did have to refrain from diving yesterday because the first two days were long days, and deep dives, we had enough nitrogen buildup in our bodies," said Det. Marske. "The only way to release it is to take time."

"It was accidental, and we just want to provide some closure to them," said Det. Marske.