Monday, September 9, 2013
Police release the names of two drowned men at Lewisville Lake
Neither victim who went missing on Labor Day weekend was wearing a life jacket.
LEWISVILLE Officials released the names of the two men who drowned in separate incidents on Lewisville Lake over the Labor Day holiday.
Milan Shah, a 37-year-old Frisco resident, went missing in the early afternoon on September 1 after falling from an inner tube with his two children while his wife drove the boat. Both children were wearing life jackets and were found safely. Shah went under near Hidden Cove, on the eastern side of the Lewisville Lake, and never resurfaced.
According to the Denton County sheriff's department, Shah's body was found around 5:48 p.m. September 2.
The body of the second drowning victim was identified by the Tarrant County Medical Examiner's office as Jorge Rodriguez, a 33-year-old Dallas County resident. Rodriguez went missing the night of August 30. Officials said he fell off a double-decker party boat near The Colony at Pier 121 Marina. He was not wearing a life jacket.
Rodriguez's body was found by a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers ranger September 2.
Multiple agencies worked together to locate the two men including the Lewisville Fire Department. The departments used sonar to scan the lake during the search.
"We all came together to cover a larger area of the lake," said Steve Carter, division chief for LFD. "The critical factor that determines how quickly we can locate the victims is the location in the lake. Even when the winds are calm, boats will move. By the time we respond, the location has changed, and all of a sudden it becomes a large area we have to cover."
Carter said on busy holiday weekends, the department staffs a boat on the lake so response time is faster.
In addition to the two deaths on Lewisville Lake, two others drowned in Lake Worth. According to officials, Javier Zacarias, a 16-year-old, and his 24-year-old uncle Juan Zacarias were wading in the lake when the teenager slipped on a rock. Neither could swim, and the pair was not wearing life jackets. Juan Zacarias drowned while trying to save Javier Zacarias.
"I've been doing this long enough that it doesn't surprise me that people still don't wear life jackets," Carter said. "We're saddened that the message doesn't get across. It comes down to confidence, people think they're better swimmers than they are or that they can handle the water, but really you should always wear a life jacket in the lake."
Carter said Lewisville Lake will remain a popular area for a few more weeks as temperatures are still high, but it will slow down toward the end of the month.
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