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2 dead after boat with 13 people capsized in Colorado lake over Memorial Day weekend

A man and a woman died in the Lake Pueblo boat incident. Eleven other people were hospitalized for hypothermia and other injuries, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said.

Two people have died after a boat with 13 people aboard capsized in Colorado's Lake Pueblo over Memorial Day weekend, officials said.

A call for help came in just after 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and witnesses reported seeing a boat holding eight juveniles and five adults capsize in the lake near the North Picnic Area, Colorado Parks and Wildlife said in a news release. 

The boat turned over during high winds in the expansive lake, which spans more than 4,600 surface acres of water and 60 miles of shoreline. Lake Pueblo is about 40 miles south of Colorado Springs.

When officials arrived at the scene, they found multiple people in the 60-degree water.

Parks and Wildlife Rangers who responded by boat rescued eight juveniles and three adults and recovered the body of a woman "who apparently drowned."

The woman was identified as Jessica Prindle, 38, of Pueblo West, the Pueblo County coroner said.

The 11 survivors were hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia and other injuries, and one juvenile was flown to the hospital, officials said.

The search for the remaining missing adult stretched into Monday with sonar equipment brought in. The search was suspended until 10 p.m. Monday because of high winds.

A body was recovered Tuesday morning by the Colorado Parks and Wildlife’s Marine Evidence Recovery Team, or MERT.

“Our MERT team worked all night and around 5:45 a.m we located a victim in 107 feet of water,” Lake Pueblo park manager Joe Stadterman, a MERT team member, said in the Parks and Wildlife release.

The body is with the Pueblo County coroner’s office for identification and determination of an official cause of death. 

If the victim is determined to have drowned, it will be the eighth drowning in the state this year, Parks and Wildlife officials said.

“This is a tragic loss of life,” Stadterman said. “And it underscores the importance of being extremely careful around the water. If you are on or even near the water, we strongly urge you to wear a life jacket.”

2020 was ed the worst year for water deaths in the state, with 34 drowning victims. A total of 22 people drowned last year.