Gwinnett man drowns in Utah lake

The body of a Gwinnett County man who drowned while helping his wife was pulled from a Utah lake Wednesday.

Joe Coffield, 61, of Snellville, was trying to assist his wife, who had drifted away from the couple’s rental boat, when he went under around 1 p.m. Monday, according to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office. The Coffields were near buoy No. 12 at the entrance to Warm Creek Bay on Lake Powell at the time of the drowning.

“Mrs. Coffield was in the water with a life jacket on and began to drift away from the boat,” according to Sgt. Alan Alldredge with the sheriff’s office said.

Dive crews, working with the National Park Service, Utah Department of Public Safety and the Summit County Sheriff’s Office, were able to locate and recover Coffield’s body around 11 a.m. Utah State Parks and the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary assisted with the recovery.

Coffield’s body was transported to the Kane County Medical Investigator, the sheriff’s office said.

Lake Powell is a man-made reservoir on the Colorado river and is situated in both Utah and Arizona. Coffield’s drowning was the fourth boating-related death in five days in Kane County’s portion of Lake Powell, officials said. On June 20, three women died when the motorboat in which they were riding struck a houseboat.

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