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Father’s Day Weekend Water Tragedy

CORALVILLE, IA (CBS2/FOX28) Fathers Day weekend is taking on a somber feel around Coralville Lake after a 36 year old man died after jumping into the water.

The investigation into his death is still going on, but it has some boaters thinking twice before going out on the water.

Boaters say the water in the lake is normally calm, but when the wind picked up hours before Somphaeng Syvixay drowned, it had some changing their plans to stay safe.

"With the winds, it was pretty scary, said Heather Moore while she was enjoying Fathers Day Weekend with her family. We were actually headed up this way yesterday and got about halfway and decided to turn back just because the water was so rough."

The Johnson County Sheriff says they got a 9-1-1 call in the middle of the afternoon for a man who went under the water and never resurfaced. They say an autopsy is pending.

"People don't realize how much different it is swimming in a lake than it is in a pool, said Moore.

Joe Wilkinson at the DNR says thats because the lake still has currents that reshape the waterway.

"The bottom changes from year to year, the bottom of the reservoir as well as the channel a little bit, said Wilkinson.

It has people like Brandon Bauer taking notice.

It was shocking, said Bauer as he pushed his son on a swing. You start to think about wearing life jackets and using some common sense just so we can enjoy it and be happy out here.

"I mean it didn't deter us this morning from coming out, said Moore. Did it make us think twice about being safe? Of course."

Heather says thats why she always keeps life jackets nearby. Brandon says his family is thinking about buying a boat, but only if the family is ready first.

"We still want to get a boat but I guess the idea is to just make sure the kids know how to be safe around the water and be sure to apply that as adults even knowing that we're not invincible, said Bauer.

Wilkinson says the lake is really more of a body of water for boating rather than to swim in just because of the heavy boat traffic. He says its not illegal to swim here, its just not recommended in certain places.
 
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