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An 18-year-old Venezuelan man jumped into the water to rescue a struggling family member at Utas Deer Creek State Park on Sunday, park officials said.

The Utah Department of Natural Resources (DNR) said Wednesday that John Balan, a Venezuelan from Julia, was visiting the reservoir with friends and family when one of his family members jumped out of their boat to swim near the Sailboat Beach area in the park.

The family member was unable to keep his head on the water and Ballan jumped into the water to help, authorities said. However, Park said the fight started after Balan.

According to Park, neither Balan nor his family members wore life jackets. Conditions on the water at 64 degrees were also unstable due to strong winds.

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Park Rangers responded to the incident around 4:30 p.m., and witnesses in the area competed on personal watercraft to help two struggling swimmers, Utah’s DNR said. Balan rescued a family member and brought him ashore, but Balan was not rescued.

An 18-year-old Venezuelan man drowned Sunday in an attempt to rescue a family member struggling in the water at Deer Creek State Park in Utah, park officials said.

An 18-year-old Venezuelan man drowned Sunday in an attempt to rescue a family member struggling in the water at Deer Creek State Park in Utah, park officials said.
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Balan’s body was recovered from the water around 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Park said.

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Authorities have reminded people to always take safety precautions when exploring public spaces.

“Always recreate with a friend, wear your life jackets and helmets and let anyone know where you are going and when to expect your return,” Park said. “It is also important to check weather conditions and water temperatures.”