On Thursday, July 20, 2023, a tragic incident took place at Lake Powell in Kane County, Utah. A man met his demise after leaping from a cliff approximately 50 feet above the water’s surface at the Glen Canyon National Recreation Area.
Cory Ryan Ehrnschwender, a 36-year-old resident of Cincinnati, OH, has been identified as the victim. According to multiple witnesses, Ehrnschwender jumped from the cliff into Lake Powell shortly before noon but did not resurface. Upon receiving reports of a possible fatality, authorities promptly responded to the scene. Despite the initial search efforts by various local agencies, the missing man could not be found.
On Friday, July 21, 2023, at approximately 10:00 in the morning, Ehrnschwender’s body was retrieved. The Utah Department of Public Safety Dive Team located the body using sonar equipment, detecting it approximately 30 feet beneath the water’s surface. As of now, the exact cause of death remains undetermined. To ascertain the cause, an autopsy will be conducted by the Utah State Medical Examiner in Salt Lake City.
The Glen Canyon National Recreation Area emphasizes to all visitors that jumping from any surface more than 15 feet above the water is strictly forbidden. This includes ledges, cliffs, and man-made structures. Hidden hazards, like shallow areas, rocks, and debris, pose significant dangers beneath the water’s surface. Jumping into the water can be highly hazardous and even fatal. Visitors are kindly requested to ensure their safety by adhering to all prescribed safety measures while enjoying their recreational activities.
In 2020, another fatal incident occurred in the Glen Canyon Recreation Area involving a boating accident. Ryan Hall, a 46-year-old resident of Sarasota Springs, was using a wave boat near the houseboat where he and others were camping on the water. Unfortunately, the wave boat struck a rock and overturned. Similar to Ehrnschwender’s case, the initial search for Hall yielded no results. Eventually, his body was discovered the following day submerged in 12 feet of water.