Park officials identify man who drowned at Crater Lake swimming spot

A 27-year-old man jumped in during early Sunday evening, but he never resurfaced.

Posted: Aug 19, 2019 5:27 PM
Updated: Aug 20, 2019 3:22 PM


UPDATE: Park officials have identified a 27-year-old man who drowned at Crater Lake National Park over the weekend. Sumedh Mannar was originally from India, but had been attending Oregon State University for graduate studies.

A Crater Lake spokesperson said that an investigation into Mannar's drowning had not revealed any further information regarding what caused his death at a relatively common swimming spot. Investigators found no signs of foul play and no obvious injuries to his body. It's uncertain whether there will be an autopsy.

Multiple witnesses reported seeing Mannar jump into the water from "Jumping Rock" in Cleetwood Cove, but he never came back up.

(Updated 8/20/19 at 3:20 p.m.)

INITIAL REPORT: Officials at Crater Lake National Park say that a man drowned after jumping into one of the lake's two permitted swimming areas on Sunday evening.

Around 4:40 p.m. on Sunday, park staff received a call reporting that a 27-year-old man had jumped off a small rock cliff at Cleetwood Cove, but he never resurfaced.

"People on scene immediately threw out a life ring and staff from the Crater Lake Hospitality park boat tour operation went to the area in a small boat to help with the search," park officials said. "Park staff mobilized quickly and responded to the location, over one mile down the Cleetwood Trail."

Staff used boats to continue the search, but the choppy water and dwindling visibility complicated the efforts. Park officials said that they called in divers, but they could not get to the area before darkness fell.

"After more than three hours from the time of the incident with no sign of the victim, the search was called off for the night," park officials said.

The divers began searching early Monday morning in Cleetwood Cove, finding the man's body about 90 feet below the surface on a rock ledge.

"Beyond that point, the lake depth drops off dramatically to a depth greater than 1200 feet," officials said.

Swimming at Crater Lake is only permitted along the shore of Wizard Island and in Cleetwood Cove, where the well-traveled Cleetwood Trail terminates. Officials said that thousands of visitors make the plunge into the lake's cold waters from the "Jumping Rock" into the cove every summer, but they are not aware of any previous drownings.

The average temperature of the lake is around 38 degrees Fahrenheit, but the surface of the lake can warm up to around 60 degrees during the summer months.

In early June, a man fell 800 feet into the Crater Lake caldera and survived. Rescuers were able to fly him out to a hospital in Bend.

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