The young man who drowned after his kayak overturned on Geneva Lake has been identified as 21-year-old Rameses Huerta of Lake Geneva.
The Lake Geneva Fire Department said a calm night turned into an awful mishap around 6:30 p.m. for a couple kayaking on the lake without life-jackets.
“His tipped over at some point, she tried to help and hers tipped over,” said Lake Geneva Fire Captain Mark Moller-Gunderson.
Moller-Gunderson said a bystander jumped in and save the young woman. Meanwhile Huerta went under and never resurfaced in the 54 degree water.
“Without floatation devices, a life-jacket and wearing clothing when you’re in that kind of cold water, you quickly lose your strength,” said Moller-Gunderson.
Dozens of fire and emergency crews responded, including Linn Police with their drone in the air. However, by the time they arrived, rescue boats were already there with lifesaving equipment on board.
Sadly, Huerta was pulled from the water about an hour later. Despite lifesaving efforts, he was pronounced dead on the scene.
Linn Police Captain James Bushey said these rescue calls are the reason they’ve recently added lifesaving gear to their drone.
“When we get to the area where we want to drop something to somebody like a life preserver then we just raise the landing gear, the hook opens up and drops the life preserver where it needs to be,” said Bushey.
Bushey said it's an addition that cost less than $50, but an important device that’s first of its kind for law enforcement in the area.
“Especially with the limited manpower and how much our area grows exponentially with vacationers and seasonal residents who come back to the area,” said Bushey.
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