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Authorities identify man who died after capsizing canoe at Deer Creek Reservoir

The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said a man died after capsizing in a canoe at Deer Creek Reservoir on Saturday, July 3, 2021.

The Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said a man died after capsizing in a canoe at Deer Creek Reservoir on Saturday, July 3, 2021. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)



Estimated read time: 1-2 minutes

WALLSBURG, Wasatch County — Authorities have identified a man who died after capsizing a canoe at Deer Creek Reservoir on Saturday afternoon.

Randall Fern, 69, of Salt Lake County, had been canoeing with four other family members when the group's boats became swamped, according to Utah State Parks officials. The members of the group couldn't right their boats, so they decided to swim to shore, the news release said. But about 15 feet from the shoreline, Fern began struggling to stay above the water.

Bystanders brought Fern on their boat and brought him to shore where first responders were waiting. Despite their efforts to revive Fern, he died on scene, according to the release.

Fern was found at around 12:15 p.m. Saturday, Wasatch County Sheriff's Office said that day on Facebook.

Officials said Fern was not wearing a life jacket. The suspected drowning is still under investigation, and the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office will determine the official cause of death.

"We encourage those swimming and playing on the water to wear life jackets, be aware of their personal limitations on the water, and plan accordingly," sheriff's office officials wrote.

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