Boating Accident at Topaz Ends in Tragedy

Reno, Nevada: A 32-year-old Reno man drowned on Topaz Lake Saturday after the boat he was on capsized in stormy conditions.

Jacques “Jack” Castaneda was enjoying a day on the water when windy and stormy conditions capsized the boat he was on sending him and three others into the cold water roughly 200 feet from the shore.

Deputies from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office were first on scene, and were able to pull the other three victims, one adult and two minors, to safety. Castaneda, however, was found unresponsive in the water. Deputies performed CPR, but he was pronounced deceased at the scene. The other three were treated and released on scene. Neither of the adults were wearing life jackets when the boat capsized.

“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers to out to the family of this young man,” said Game Warden Captain Brian Bowles, Boating Law Administrator for Nevada. “Accidents like this are the reason you always check the weather report before you head out. You never want to be in the middle of the lake when a storm rolls in like it did today.”

Bowles questions whether the cold water might also have played a role. He explains that the water at Topaz Lake is currently in the low 50’s, making it extremely difficult for anyone to have been able to swim to shore. “The average person would start to lose muscle control within the first few minutes,” he said. “That is why we always ask everyone to wear a life jacket when they are on the water. You just never know what is going to happen.”

Although children under the age of 13 are the only people legally required to wear a life vest, the Nevada Department of Wildlife strongly suggests that everyone wear one when they head out on the water.

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