An 18-year-old man who was airlifted to the hospital after being pulled from the waters of Lake Phalarope at Black Butte Ranch earlier this month did not survive.

According to Black Butte Ranch Police reports, the young man, an intern employee from India named Tarun Verma, declined a life vest when checking out a pedal board for an excursion on the lake on June 2.

Three witnesses saw a commotion associated with the young man being in distress in the water and responded to the scene on their own watercraft. When the witnesses reached him, Varun was submerged under the water. They pulled him onto the shore unconscious and began CPR immediately. Black Butte Fire medics also responded to treat Verma, and he was airlifted to the hospital from the ball fields at BBR.

BBR police reported that they received word on June 4 that the young man had died.

Marine patrol personnel were still looking on Monday for a 29-year-old Bend man, Michael Mead, missing and presumed drowned at Wickiup Reservoir. Mead and a friend and a dog were in a canoe that overturned at 2 a.m., dumping them into the water. The other man and the dog were able to swim to shore but Mead did not make it.

Searchers were also seeking a man who jumped from the top deck of a pontoon boat on the Metolius Arm of Lake Billy Chinook late Friday afternoon, and is presumed to have drowned. The man reportedly struck his head on a railing on his way into the water and did not resurface.

The incidents highlight the hazards that accompany water recreation as summer gets underway in Central Oregon.

The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District notes that water temperatures in area lakes and rivers are still low this time of year. Being unguarded in the water, especially when water temperatures are low, is extremely dangerous.

Among preventable injuries, drowning is the leading cause of death for children one to 4 years old. A child or weak swimmer can drown in the time it takes to reply to a text, check a fishing line, or apply sunscreen. One- to 4-year-old children are more likely to drown in a pool, while children 5 and older are more likely to drown in natural water such as ponds, lakes, and rivers. The risk of drowning in open water increases with age.

Even as a strong swimmer, adults should know the risks and take precautions around water. The Fire District notes that swimmers should always swim with a buddy; don’t use alcohol or drugs (including some prescription medications) before or while swimming, diving, or supervising others; and wear a life jacket while boating or fishing, even if you don’t intend to enter the water.

In 2013, 77 percent of fatal boating accident victims drowned; of those who drowned, 84 percent were not wearing a life jacket. In Oregon, all children 12 and under must wear a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device while on a boat that is underway.

In the event of an emergency, knowing CPR and basic water-rescue skills may help you save a life. The Sisters-Camp Sherman Fire District offers monthly CPR/AED/first aid courses. Class dates and registration can be found online at