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Drowning at Lake Pleasant highlights need for boat safety

Lake Pleasant
Posted at 10:28 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-27 01:35:29-04

LAKE PLEASANT, AZ — The drowning at Lake Pleasant Sunday highlights the importance of safety when out on the water.

The Peoria Fire Department says the lake has been packed, which has also resulted in an increase in calls for help.

Bob Skube is often out on the water but cautions that even the most experienced can get into a troubling situation. It happened to his friend over the weekend.

"A very experienced boater; he's a guide actually. His boat got away from him on the boat ramp, and it supposedly pinned him against the wall, and he was stuck there for about 45 minutes until some other guys came up. If they wouldn't have come by, he probably wouldn't be with us," says Skube.

One of the biggest issues he's seen: "inexperienced boaters."

Education is key, along with always wearing a life-vest no matter what age or skill level.

"I don't think you can predict when you are going to get in the water when it's an emergency, if you fall out of the boat or somebody else needs your help and you need to jump in and help them," says Mario Bravo with th Peoria Fire Department.

Unfortunately, that was the case Sunday night.

The Maricopa County Sheriff's Office says 41-year-old Shaba Isaac was part of a large group of people on a boat near Roadrunner Island.

The driver told detectives they were pulling four children and an adult on a flotation device when it flipped over.

Several men jumped in the water to reach the children; Isaac was among them but never resurfaced.

Peoria Fire Department also responded to that incident, saying it's not isolated.

"We get several calls all over the lake for somebody who fell off a jet ski, boat accident, a submersion, a drowning. We get all kinds of EMS calls," says Bravo.

They even purchashed a new fire boat to widen their reach, offering thermal imaging, depth perception and night vision.

"If you're going to come out to the lake, get familiar on the coves, the locations, where the marina is, and Scorpion Bay is. You might also want to know where marine Channel 16 is on the radio in case there is an emergency and you need to call for help,” says Bravo.

Bravo says this year, people have started to come to the lake earlier than normal. He warns that even wind can play a factor.

“Coming back, the wind was against us and it messed the sails up. We were kind of just bobbing in place. We weren't making any headway so these nice gentleman in a boat towed us in,” says Lee Irvine, on the lake.