Game Wardens rescue three people from Lake Mead during Storm

Lake Mead - Boulder City, NV

Photo Credit: Courtesy of NDOW

by Nevada Department of Wildlife

Las Vegas, NV – Game wardens with the Nevada Department of Wildlife rescued three people on Lake Mead earlier this month after an afternoon storm capsized their kayaks and left them struggling in the water.

Nevada game wardens James Mortimore and Sean Flynn were on patrol on Lake Mead NRA on Saturday, Feb. 13 when they witnessed a storm moving in over the water. The two headed back to the Las Vegas Boat Harbor and prepared for emergency calls that often come with these types of storms.  Just after 2 pm they received a report of three people spotted in the water between Boulder Beach and Boulder Island. Despite the high winds and five- to six-foot waves, Mortimore and Flynn were able to locate the victims in less than four minutes from receiving the report.

 “Two of the victims were not wearing life jackets and were clinging to a kayak, and the third was floating with a life jacket loosely around her,” said Mortimore. “It was a good thing we were able to get there as quickly as we did, because the situation could have turned tragic very quickly.”

Flynn and Mortimore were able to pull all three victims onto their boat and return them to the boat dock where other NDOW game wardens and medical staff from the National Park Service evaluated them for injuries before releasing them.

“They made two critical mistakes that almost cost them their lives,” said Mortimore. “First, they didn’t check the weather report before heading out. That storm was forecast that morning. Had they checked the report, they would have known to head in before the afternoon. Second, they were not wearing their life jackets. I don’t care how good a swimmer you are; no one can outswim a storm.”

Once the storm began to subside, the two game wardens were able to retrieve the victim’s kayaks and equipment and return it.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) protects, restores and manages fish and wildlife, and promotes fishing, hunting, and boating safety. NDOW’s wildlife and habitat conservation efforts are primarily funded by sportsmen’s license and conservation fees and a federal surcharge on hunting and fishing gear. Support wildlife and habitat conservation in Nevada by purchasing a hunting, fishing, or combination license. Find us on Facebook, Twitter or visit us at

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