PEORIA, AZ — Maricopa County Sheriff's officials have located the body of a man who went underwater at Lake Pleasant and did not resurface.
Officials were called to the lake Saturday around 11 a.m. after reports of a possible drowning incident near South Barker Island.
MCSO said the man, identified 52-year-old Lorne Jonassen, was not wearing a life jacket when he went into the water.
His body was recovered from the lake on Tuesday evening, according to MCSO.
There were no signs of foul play.
Multiple people have died at Lake Pleasant within the last month, prompting officials to urge extra safety precautions on the lake.
- April 24, 2022: 20-year-old Neria Aranbayev drowns at Lake Pleasant
- May 2, 2022: Body recovered at Lake Pleasant after searching for a man who went underwater.
- May 8, 2022: 83-year-old Rosario Benitez and several others were thrown from their boat due to waves at Lake Pleasant Sunday night. Benitez died from her injuries.
- May 18, 2022: Officials say the body of the 18-year-old man who went underwater at Lake Pleasant and didn't resurface was recovered Sunday evening.
- May 21, 2022: 32-year-old Tehanah Smith dies after suffering injury during boating accident at Lake Pleasant.
"It's the most terrible thing you can imagine," said Keith McConnell, a man who has been going to Lake Pleasant for the last 20 years. "The lake was pretty choppy today. A lot of wind."
He says on days like this, things can get rough, fast.
"People get tossed around on a boat. You could lose items, or somebody could be pushed over if you really hit a big wave," he said.
McConnell says he was on his boat near south Barker Island when suddenly he heard people screaming for help.
"They were waving at us, and they mentioned somebody jumped in for the flag and went under and didn't come back up," he said.
At that point, without hesitating, he joined the search.
"We all kind of circled our boats around and tried to look in the water, but we didn't see anything," said McConnell. "My heart goes out to those people. Fellow boaters are pretty shaken up about it and we just feel for that family."
About 10 minutes later, he says first responders took over.
Kirk Kildahl and Melanie Cisler came to the lake to enjoy their weekend. Both are calling this a tragedy.
"It doesn't take a lot to have an accident. Once you're under the water, it's dangerous," says Cisler.
Kildahl says things are unpredictable below the surface.
"If you're on shore without a boat, it's really hard to find a nice spot. Everything's rocky. And even in a boat, it's really difficult to find nice spots to get out," adds Kildahl.
Lake Pleasant and other Arizona water destinations are expected to be busy during Memorial Day weekend.
With the influx of recents accidents, injuries, and deaths on our lakes, MCSO DUI Task Force will be conducting strict lake safety measures this #MemorialDayweekend.— Maricopa County Sheriff's Office (@mcsoaz) May 27, 2022
There will be a zero tolerance policy for ALL park and boating violations. #SafetyFirst #ZeroTolerance pic.twitter.com/YBnO8FVwwf