(KTXL) — Two people have died in separate drownings in El Dorado County within 24 hours, according to the El Dorado County Fire Protection District.
The first drowning occurred at around 4:15 p.m. on Monday at Jenkinson Lake in the Sly Park Recreation Area near Pollock Pines.
Initial reports stated that a 19-year-old male was seen about 30 to 40 feet from the shoreline of an island inside the lake.
It would not be until 10 a.m. on Tuesday that the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team would locate the teen.
The San Juan Unified School District identified the teen as Mehki Jameel Ali Clay, who graduated from Del Campo High School in 2022.
After locating’s Clay’s body, firefighters received reports of a second drowning along the South Fork of the American River in Lotus.
Witnesses said that a man believed to be in his 60s went under the water and was then caught in a tree branch.
“The victim had been traveling in a non-guided private raft with two female companions who were able to get to safety on their own after the raft overturned,” the fire protection district wrote.
First responders rescued the man from the river by creating a human chain composed of bystanders and firefighters.
Life-saving measures were performed on the man, but first responders pronounced him dead.
“We remind everyone who visits our local waters that even though our waterways are generally safe, this year is different,” the fire protection district wrote. “A longer winter and heavy precipitation have contributed to cold and swift waters. Visiting our local waterways is still encouraged, but everyone needs to know the risks being faced so that steps can be taken to reduce risks.”