2 men and 1 woman were rescued after being stranded overnight on Utah Lake. Their jet skis became disabled and rescuers spent the night looking for them after a family member reported them overdue.
On August 8, 2014, just after midnight, dispatchers with the Utah Valley Dispatch Special Service District received a call from a man reporting that 3 of his family members were missing on Utah Lake. 3 people, a woman and 2 men, went to Utah Lake about 4:30 the previous afternoon and had not been heard from since 5:30 PM on 8/7/14. The report was that one of the jet skis became disabled and they were trying to tow it back to Utah Lake State Park. That was the last they were heard from.
After the call came in Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff's Office responded and Officers from Utah Lake State Park and Utah County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue (SAR) responded. Deputies checked the various marinas around the lake and Saratoga Springs Fire Department checked the 3 marinas in their city. The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) sent their helicopter with its Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) equipment. SAR members went on the lake and DPS searched with their helicopter. After not finding the missing people the search was suspended at 4:45 AM.
At about 7:00 AM on August 8 the search for the missing people resumed with the same resources. Shortly after 8:00 AM the DPS pilot located the missing people near Bird Island at the south end of Utah Lake. Both jet skis were disabled and the men and woman had lashed them together so they could have a better platform to hold onto. State Parks Officers responded and they got the victims out of the lake. All 3 were suffering from some level of hypothermia but were otherwise in good condition. The husband and wife, Laticia Hernandez, age 49, and Angel Hernandez, age 45, both of Provo, were taken to the hospital to be treated. The other man, Guadalupe Veloz, age 47, of Nephi, was treated and released at the scene.
None of the 3 victims were wearing life jackets. Rescuers believe that, despite the hypothermia, they are fortunate to have this outcome. Utah Lake State Parks are working on recovering the jet skis.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: SGTCannonPIO