The Grapevine Fire Department responded to a reported drowning around 5:22 p.m. May 26 in Rockledge Park, according to a release from the department. The victim was identified as 33-year-old Gerardo Guzman Mondragon of Wylie.
Fire officials said the man and his family were in the lake throwing a football. They began walking back to the shore, but Mondragon likely walked onto a spot where there was a steep drop-off and slipped under water.
A dive team searched the area, and sonar was used, but Mondragon was not located within the first hour.
The Flower Mound Fire Department and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) game wardens assisted in the search efforts. Divers eventually found the body. Officials said Mondragon was not wearing a lifejacket.
TPWD reported the biggest cause for concern game wardens observed during Memorial Day weekend involved life jackets, according to game warden Cody Jones, TPWD assistant commander for marine enforcement. Not recognizing one’s swimming limitations was another issue.
“One young woman fell out of her kayak, wasn’t wearing a life jacket and was clinging to her husband’s kayak as her vessel had floated away due to the wind,” Jones said. “Our guys pulled her into our patrol boat and got her to shore. The same wardens also rescued a 10-year-old boy who swam to the outer limits of a swimming area, became tired and was struggling to stay afloat.”
High winds also played a role in several water safety related incidents over the weekend, and may have contributed to the 11 drownings reported across the state.