COCHITI, N.M. (KRQE) – New Mexico State Police are still looking for a man they believe drowned at Cochiti Lake on Saturday.
The Army Corps of Engineers said he vanished after jumping off a boat in Cochiti Lake. He had been hanging out with his family and never came back up.
“This is the first recreation related incident that we’ve had in a number of years here at Cochiti Lake,” said Mark Rosacker with the Army Corps of Engineers.
State Police would only say they’re still searching, but lake officials said a storm moved in, and they believe weather played a role.
“The mornings tend to be calm and the lake waters are smooth. By the time the afternoon happens, especially in the summer months, you’ll have thunder heads build up. You’ll have high winds,” said Rosacker.
Cochiti Lake officials warn visitors to check the weather, take classes on boating safety, and don’t drink while boating.
They said there’s also one thing that can be the difference between life and death on the water — a life vest.
“You don’t just need to have it on you in your boat, which is the requirement. You actually need to be wearing it to do you any good,” said Rosacker.
Lake officials said the last drowning at Cochiti Lake was back in 1998 when a gust of wind swept a little boy on an inflatable pool toy far from shore. That boy’s father swam after him and drowned.
The Army Corps of Engineers will have a team of nine park rangers out patrolling this Fourth of July to make sure people are following the rules.