AUSTIN (KXAN) — A man who died while swimming in Lake Travis Saturday has been identified as Juan Maldonado, 46, of Cedar Park.
The Travis County Sheriff’s Office says Maldonado was swimming without a life vest on when he became distressed around 8 p.m. Witnesses say Maldonado went under but they were able to pull him back onto their boat.
Deputies performed CPR on Maldonado while taking him to Mansfield Dam Park but he died a short time later.
“It’s absolutely tragic when we have situations like these on the lake because people go there to have a great time. Nobody goes to the lake thinking it can be deadly, and unfortunately, all too often it is,” said Kristen Dark, senior public information officer for TCSO.
Dark says Lake Travis is a dangerous body of water because it isn’t actually a lake, it’s a giant reservoir.
“It has a dynamic about it that’s unlike most other bodies of water. There are all kinds of things under the water that are obstacles. There’s low visibility. There are steep, steep drop-offs, and so, you can be standing in three feet of water, take a step, and you’re in 50 feet of water,” Dark said. “We will have over 200,000 people visit Lake Travis every summer and there is a small percentage of people who die on our lake. But, any death is a significant death and we want to make sure that people are taking this lake seriously, and that means wearing a flotation device.”
Maldonado is the fourth person to die on Lake Travis this summer season. Two other missing swimmers — Manuel Salas and Rachel Kathleen Scott — have not been found.
Lake Travis deaths
May 27, 2018: Diego Humberto Cerda-Acosta, 30, of Austin was reported missing in the water near Bob Wentz Park on May 27, 2018. His body was recovered the morning of May 28, 2018.
June 10, 2018: Ricardo Sierra Martinez, 27, of Mexico was reported missing in the water near Bob Wentz Park on June 10, 2018. His body was recovered the morning of June 12, 2018.
July 28, 2018: Luke Fashaw, 36, of San Antonio was reported missing in the water in the Devil’s Hollow. His body was recovered the same day.