(KLAS) – National Park Service (NPS) rangers have confirmed there was a report of human remains found at Lake Mead Monday afternoon. According to the NPS, the report came from a person at Swim Beach near Boulder Beach at Lake Mead around 4:30 p.m.
Park rangers set up a perimeter to recover the apparent remains, and said the Clark County Medical Examiner had been contacted to determine the cause of death.
This would not be the first time human remains have been found as the lake dramatically shrinks.
Earlier this year, a body was found in a barrel in an area that had previously been a half mile from shore before water levels receded. The person, believed to be a man, is suspected to have been murdered in the late-1970s or 1980s, investigators said.
Since Lake Mead’s filling in the 1930s, 300 people have drowned in its waters, park service officials told KLAS. The decade with the most drownings is the 1990s, records showed.
One person has drowned in the reservoir so far this year, park officials said. The number for 2021 is also one death. In 2020, eight people drowned.
In 2017, Outside Magazine ranked Lake Mead as the top deadliest national park in America.
Many wrecks, including a WWII-era Higgins landing craft have emerged from the waters recently.
Experts say climate change and drought have led to the lake dropping to its lowest level since it was full about 20 years ago.
U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Camille Touton said last month that the agency would take action to protect the system if the seven states in the Colorado River basin don’t quickly come up with a way to cut the use of up to 4 million acre-feet of water — more than Arizona and Nevada’s share combined.
An acre-foot is about 325,850 gallons (about 1.23 million liters). An average household uses one-half to one acre-foot of water a year.
The two states, California and Mexico already have enacted voluntary and mandatory cuts. Water from some reservoirs in the upper basin — Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado and Utah — has been released to prop up Lake Powell.
Farmers use a majority of the river’s supply.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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