Authorities urge people to wear life jackets after Covell Lake drowning

Local News

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — One kayaker is dead and another is recovering after both capsized on Covell Lake Saturday evening.

First responders were called to the lake around 8 p.m. Saturday.

One of the kayakers was rescued and taken to the hospital.

Divers found the body of the second kayaker around midnight.

Divers and rescue crews searched for nearly four hours Saturday night to find a kayaker who capsized in Covell Lake.

“When we got there, the Terrace Park lifeguards were already in the water,” Dustin Luebke said.

Dustin Luebke is a firefighter with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.

He says lifeguards from Terrace Park Aquatic Center had already saved one kayaker when they got to the lake.

“They did an excellent job at getting the first victim out of the water and then giving us a starting point as to where to start our search,” Luebke said.

Divers later found the body of the second kayaker.

“I think this is just a reminder that whenever we’re engaging in water sports, we need to be safe,” Luebke said.

Greg Neitzert is part of the Sioux Falls city council and oversees the Northwest district where the drowning happened.

He says this hits close to home.

“Since it’s in my district, it’s very tragic. My heart goes out to the family. We don’t know what quite happened yet. We’ll learn more tomorrow, and until then, we’ll just have to wait and see,” Neitzert said.

Luebke says none of the kayakers were wearing life jackets, a mistake he says too many people make.

“That’s one of the things we really stress here in Sioux Falls is the use of life jackets and PFDs of some sort,” Luebke said.

“We need to make sure we’re doing it safely and really that means always wearing a life jacket and never going alone,” Neitzert said.

The names of the people involved have not been released, as officers notify family members.

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