GRAND LAKE – Two water-related accidents over the Memorial Holiday weekend prompted Grand River Dam Authority to remind lake lovers about water safety.

“Each holiday weekend on the lake is different and, unfortunately, accidents do happen sometimes,” said Justin Alberty, GRDA spokesman.

Jose James-Flores, 42, of Tyler, Texas drowned Saturday in Flint Creek, which is located in southern Delaware County.

The elder James-Flores jumped into the waters to rescue his son, who jumped from the top of Flint Creek Dam.  Both were underwater for five to seven minutes before being rescued by other citizens in the area. The son was revived at the scene and the father was taken to the Siloam Springs Hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Troy Young, 48, Bixby, was last seen leaving Cedar Port Marina in a 24-foot Blue Yellowfin boat at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Friday. Young’s boat was recovered near the entrance of Ketchum Cove, approximately 1.5 miles from Cedar Port on Saturday.

GRDA police continue to search for Young, Alberty said on Monday.

With the large crowds that visit the waters on a holiday weekend or even just a normal summer weekend, the overwhelming majority of visitors do experience a safe, memorable outing, he said.

GRDA’s goal is to continue to share boating safety messages and promote those safe outings, while also being present to assist when an accident happens, Alberty said.

GRDA has listed the following “Dos and Don’ts” guidelines for boating.  

  • Do wear a life jacket. For those floating the river, children 13 years of age and under are required to always wear a life jacket. On the lake, children 12 years of age and younger are required to wear a life jacket on vessels under 26 feet long. However, GRDA encourages all ages to always wear a life jacket.
  • Don’t drink and boat. Alcohol use continues to be the single leading factor contributing to boating accidents.
  • Do keep a good lookout while underway.
  • Do shut engines off when people are in the water near your boat.
  • Do observe the nautical “rules of the road.”
  • Do check the weather forecast before getting underway.
  • Do keep a balanced load.
  • Don’t overload the boat.
  • Don’t ride on the gunwale, bow, seatbacks, or any place that is not designated for sitting.
  • Don’t swim or boat alone. Stay within sight of companions.
  • For those floating the river, do let the commercial float operator know if anyone in the party is a first-time or novice floater(s).
  • Don’t dive into the river from bridges, bluffs, stream banks, and trees.
  • Do respect the weather and the water. If tired while floating, take a break on the bank or on a gravel bar to rest.

For more information about the GRDA call 918.256.0911. Boaters who need assistance from a boat are encouraged to call 911, or if no cell phone is available, radio the GRDA Police on Marine Band 16.