Utah State Parks Blog

Utah Man Dies at Deer Creek State Park

DEER CREEK STATE PARK — A 24-year-old Utah man is dead following an incident at Deer Creek State Park yesterday.

Just before 2 p.m. on Sunday, June 28, 2020, Jose Antonio Fuentes-Alvarez from Salt Lake County, was swimming in the Rainbow Bay area at Deer Creek State Park. While he was swimming, members of Fuentes-Alvarez’s group witnessed him begin struggling to keep his head above the water.

Three members of the group attempted to swim out to assist him but were not successful. Others on shore then called 911 for help.

 A Utah State Parks Law Enforcement Ranger, a Deer Creek State Park camp host, and a Utah Highway Patrol trooper responded to the area quickly and were able to aid the three group members in getting back to shore safely.

Search efforts for Fuentes-Alvarez began immediately. Utah State Parks staff, Wasatch County Search and Rescue, and Summit County Search and Rescue all responded to the area to assist.

At around 10 p.m., members of the Utah State Parks ROV team discovered Fuentes-Alvarez’s body using their remotely operated vehicle. Shortly after, divers with Wasatch County were able to initiate the recovery.

Fuentes-Alvarez was found approximately 80 yards from the shore at a depth of 16 feet. He was not wearing a life jacket.

Utah is home to some of the most beautiful lakes, rivers, and reservoirs in the country. When recreating in these areas, it is important to exercise caution as these waterbodies are much different than swimming pools or other controlled environments. Distances on the water may appear deceiving; and waves, depth, and water temperature can change quickly and dramatically. Wear a life jacket, always swim with a buddy, and remember that alcohol and water recreation do not mix.

The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation would like to extend our condolences to Fuentes-Alvarez’s friends and family, and thank the other agencies who assisted in this incident.

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