Storm prompts 11 rescues at Lake Mead - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Storm prompts 11 rescues at Lake Mead

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Eleven rescue calls were made at Lake Mead National Recreation Area after storms formed over Boulder Basin on July 8, 2014. (FOX5 FILE) Eleven rescue calls were made at Lake Mead National Recreation Area after storms formed over Boulder Basin on July 8, 2014. (FOX5 FILE)
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BOULDER CITY, NV (FOX5) -

Rangers at the Lake Mead National Recreation Area handled 70 distress calls, 11 of which required rescues, as storms built over the Boulder Basin on Tuesday afternoon.

The National Park Service said waves as high as 5 feet and swells of 8 feet were reported, causing many boaters to head to shore during the severe weather event.

According to NPS, one of the rescues included a woman who had gone into the water just as the storm hit. Rangers said she became stranded during the storm and treaded water for three hours before being rescued about 8 p.m.

Rangers also reported wrapping up a rescue at 11 p.m. involving a group near Callville Bay. Authorities were able to get contact with the boaters through GPS coordinates.

Rangers said they needed help from Las Vegas Metro police helicopters in their rescues Tuesday. One of the rescues involved at least one sinking boat while others had to be towed back to the marina.

The NPS said most of those needing rescue did the right thing by putting on their life jackets before moving on to shore. The agency maintained the importance of life jackets.

"It's not a bad idea to have a life jacket the entire time you're on the boat," said Mark Hnat, Lake Mead District ranger. "That's what we do actually. Our agency requires we have life jackets on every time we're on a boat no matter what we're doing."

Hnat added life jacket wearers have a better chance at survival than those who don't.

State law requires approved life jackets for every person on a boat. Water skiers, jet skiers and kids under the age of 12 years old are required to wear one at all times.

The agency also noted an unrelated distress call involving a teenager hiking in the area before the storms hit. Despite the precipitation, NPS said temperatures around the lake are expected to surpass 100 degrees.

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