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Drowning victim recovered from West Lake Okoboji

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Search recovered the body of 35 year-old Juan Miguel Gonzales of Sioux City Wednesday morning. Gonzales had entered West Lake Okoboji while boating around 5 p.m. Sunday.

He was located around 9:30 a.m. by members of the Arnolds Park/Okoboji Dive Team who were conducting a surface search of the lake in the area south of Pikes Point where Gonzales was last seen.

Search operations had been ongoing by divers and surface crews since Gonzales went missing.

The access point to Pikes Point State Park near Spirit Lake had been blocked off and was being used as a staging area while the search was under way.

Sunday's emergency call marked the fourth time this year that officials were called to the Iowa Great Lakes for an apparent drowning.

Veteran lakes officers faced similar circumstances in June 2010 when the body of a 30-year-old Carroll man was recovered from West Lake Okoboji following a prolonged search.

On April 9, 85-year-old Frederick Boer of Sanborn fell from a West Okoboji Harbor dock and could not make it out of the water.

Jennifer Johnson of Estherville jumped from her boat for a swim in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 10. The 26-year-old did not escape the waters of East Lake Okoboji and was recovered about five hours later.

Jennifer Galagher, a 46-year-old from Denver, had been swimming off the shores of West Lake Okoboji on Monday evening, Aug. 6. She was reported missing the following morning and was recovered in the area near Wheeler's Beach.

The Dickinson County Sheriff's Office were assisted in the search operation by multiple agencies including: Arnolds Park/Okoboji Dive Team, Spirit Lake Fire Department - Water Rescue Team, Dickinson County Emergency Management, Iowa Department of Natural Resources, Okoboji Police Department, Arnolds Park Police, Spirit Lake Police Department, Sanford (Sioux Falls) Helicopter - Aerial Search and the Sioux County Dive Team.

In addition to these agencies, there were numerous residents and businesses that assisted with the operation by providing or donating goods and services.

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there is drownings up there everry yeear.

whats going on, somethings got to be done.

-- Posted by BunnyRabbit on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 2:02 PM

there should be life guards.

-- Posted by BunnyRabbit on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 2:04 PM

even children lost there lifes.somebodys child, such a tragedy

-- Posted by BunnyRabbit on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 2:06 PM

some places have swim at your own risk

but some places do have life guards just not all of them

-- Posted by BunnyRabbit on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 2:13 PM

but theres lots of drownings up there. so something should be done

-- Posted by BunnyRabbit on Sun, Aug 26, 2012, at 2:14 PM

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