Paddleboarder 'Blown Off' Board Dies After Microburst: 'He Was Unable to Keep His Head Above the Water'

The victim presumably drowned after a storm hit Colorado’s Dillon Reservoir on Saturday, according to officials

Summit County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of a drowned paddle boarder from the Dillon Reservoir
Photo: Summit County Sheriff's Office

A paddleboarder died after a storm hit Colorado's Dillon Reservoir on Saturday, according to authorities.

Officials responded to a 911 call from Dillon Reservoir, located about 70 miles west of Denver, after the male victim was "blown off" his board and presumably drowned after being caught in a microburst on Saturday afternoon, the Summit County Sheriff's Office wrote in a statement.

According to the National Weather Service, a microburst is a "localized column of sinking air within a thunderstorm" and can be up to 2.5 miles in diameter.

"The microburst separated the male from his board and he was unable to keep his head above the water," authorities wrote of the victim, who has not yet been publicly identified.

Eye witnesses reported that he had a personal flotation device strapped to his board but was not wearing it at the time of the incident, authorities said.

Authorities said that during the storm, the victim was separated from his group of friends, who traveled from the Colorado's Front Range.

"The group saw the approaching storm and was heading back to the Dillon Marina when it suddenly came over them," the sheriff's office shared. "The rain, winds and large waves created by the microburst, separated the group."

The victim's body was located 100 yards offshore from the Roberts Tunnel shoreline on Saturday night using specialized underwater Side Scanner Sonar and Remote Operating Vehicles (ROV) devices. The Summit County Water Rescue Team, Summit County Rescue Group and Colorado State Parks Water Recovery Team aided in the search and recovery of the victim.

"Our deepest condolences go out to the family and friends of the victim. These search and recovery events can be extremely long in duration," Sheriff Jaime FitzSimons said in a statement.

FitzSimons continued, "The longer they run the more pain and anguish they can cause. I am comforted that we were able to locate and recover the victim quickly and bring closure to his family and friends."

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The Summit County Coroner's Office is expected to release the name of the victim and their cause of death at a later date.

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