Russian man drowns in Lake Powell

Others sustain injuries from propeller.

Steven Law
Posted 8/30/18

The victims were part a large group that were boating and swimming in Wahweap Bay.

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Russian man drowns in Lake Powell

Others sustain injuries from propeller.


PAGE, Arizona – At approximately 2:19 p.m. on August 27, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area Dispatch received a 911 call that a boat was coming into the Wahweap Marina with a male drowning victim on board.

National Park Service Rangers and a Coconino County Sheriff’s Deputy responded, arriving at the Wahweap Boat Tour dock four minutes later. When they arrived CPR was already in progress on the drowning victim, who was identified as Aleksandr Aleksandrovich Kurganov, a 20-year-old male from St. Petersburg, Russia. Kurganov was pronounced dead on scene. He was transported to the Coconino County Coroner for autopsy.

The NPS rangers also treated two other victims, one male and one female, who had propeller cuts on their legs, as well as three near-drowning victims. Rangers also treated a man who was part of the group who was greatly distraught by the trauma he had witnessed.

Page Fire Department and Classic Air Medical responded to assist.

The female who had been cut by the propeller was transported to Dixie Regional Hospital in St. George, Utah by Classic Helicopter. The male who had been cut by the propeller and the distraught male were transported to Page Banner Hospital by NPS rangers.

The victims were part of a group of approximately 29 young-adult, foreign nationals who had rented three pontoon boats. The group stopped  in the Wahweap Bay near the Castle Rock Cut where a large number of them jumped into the water to swim, without life jackets. Winds picked up and several of the swimmers began having difficulty. Boat operators in the group were able to pick up many of the swimmers from the water, some of whom were near total exhaustion. Others swam to shore after a five to ten minute swim.

The deceased was recovered by a member of his party in approximately nine feet of water. Two people sustained propeller cuts while bringing him on board one of the boats. After recovering Kurganov from the water they began CPR and piloted their vessel to Wahweap Boat Tours.

The case is still under investigation by the National Park Service, Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and Utah State Parks.