Utah State Parks Blog

Tennessee Man Dies at Deer Creek State Park

DEER CREEK STATE PARK – A 71-year-old Tennessee man is dead following an incident at Deer Creek State Park yesterday.

Just before 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, Daniel Nelson Thompson from Newport, Tennessee was boating with family and friends between Wallsburg Bay and Rainbow Cove area at Deer Creek State Park. 

While boating, Thompson’s hat had fallen into the water and he jumped in the water to retrieve it. Thompson was not wearing a life jacket and was unable to remain afloat and keep his head above water.

A member of Thompson’s group jumped in to assist, but was unsuccessful. Others in the group then called 911 for help.

A Utah State Parks law enforcement ranger responded to the area quickly and began the search for Thompson. Search efforts were aided by the Utah Department of Public Safety dive team, Wasatch County Search and Rescue, and Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office. 

Around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday, the DPS dive team identified a possible sighting which the Utah State Parks ROV team confirmed to be that of Thompson’s body. His body was resting in 111 ft of water approximately 300 ft from shore.  

The Utah State Parks ROV brought the body up off the reservoir floor to Wasatch County SAR dive team members who brought the body to the surface.

The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation extends our condolences to Thompson’s friends and family. We would also like to thank the other agencies who assisted in this incident.

Always keep safety a top priority when recreating in Utah’s waterbodies. Always swim with a buddy and wear your life jacket.  

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