MARICOPA COUNTY, Ariz. - Following a series of deadly incidents, including drownings, in Lake Pleasant, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is providing tips for lake goers and boaters to stay safe and enjoy the lake the right way.
So far in 2022, at least six people died while at Lake Pleasant, and in the four most recent incidents, the individuals reportedly weren't wearing life vests.
"We are having a pretty good time," said James Ingham while at the lake on May 17. "We are making this our lake destination."
They head out to the lake a couple of times a week during the summer months to jet ski, and they say for them, safety is always top of mind.
"Don't drink and drive, life vests, and you can enjoy yourself without getting crazy," Ingham recommended.
And of course, this is exactly what the sheriff's office is asking boaters, jet skiers, and those looking for a getaway at the lake to abide by.
"Zero tolerance. We will be citing anyone without a life jacket, Coast Guard approved, 12 years and younger. We will be doing boat checks on the water it is to keep everyone safe," said Maricopa County Sheriff's Sgt. Joaquin Enriquez.
The message is more important now than ever, especially because of the tragic events that have unfolded at the lake recently.
"There has definitely been more drowning calls early in the season," said Maricopa County Sheriffs Office Lake Patrol Det. Rob Marske. "We have not even hit Memorial Day."
The sheriff's office says it's also seeing record-breaking numbers of people at the lake as many try to escape the heat, but it adds that the education to avoid tragedy starts before you get here.
"I don't know what more we can do. The more of the issue is at home before you come out here, in preparation, in taking swimming classes and knowing your ability before coming out to a body of water," Marske said.
The sheriff's office is stressing this message heading into Memorial Day weekend. Deputies will be keeping up the zero-tolerance enforcement of the laws to save lives.
Deadly incidents at Lake Pleasant
Twenty-year-old Neria Aranbayev was found on the night of April 24, about 21 feet below the surface of Lake Pleasant. On May 1, an unidentified man's body was found 25-feet underwater near Jet Ski Point. On May 8, an 83-year-old woman was thrown from a boat on May 8 and died. Her name was Rosario Benitez.
On May 15, deputies responded to reports of a possible drowning near Sunset Ridge at Lake Pleasant. They believe an 18-year-old man was swimming, went underwater, never came back up and his body was found soon after.