Officials ID Salt Lake City man who drowned at Deer Creek Reservoir

Deer Creek Reservoir. Photo:

DEER CREEK STATE PARK, Utah, July 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Utah State Parks officials have released the name of a man who died Saturday in a drowning at Deer Creek State Park.

The victim was Randall Fern, 69, of Salt Lake City.

“On July 3, just after noon, Utah State Parks rangers and members of the Wasatch County Sheriff’s Office responded to the boat ramp after receiving reports of a possible drowning,” a statement from Utah State Parks officials says.

“The man, 69-year-old Randall Fern, had been canoeing with four other family members when their boats became swamped. Unable to right their canoes, the group decided to swim to shore.

“About 15-feet away from shore, Fern began to struggle to stay above water and was under distress. He was not wearing a life jacket.”

A passing boater was able to get Fern into the craft and bring him to the boat ramp, “where first-responders were waiting and worked to revive him,” the statement says.

“Despite their best efforts, Fern was pronounced dead at the scene. The other family members in the group are uninjured,” the State Parks statement says.

The incident is under investigation.

“Utah State Parks expresses our condolences to Fern’s friends and family.

We would also like to remind those who are venturing into the outdoors to always stay on guard and to make safety a top priority. Always remember to wear a properly fitting U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Recreate within your ability and set a good example for other recreators and children around you.”

For more information about life jackets, safety, and Utah boating rules and regulations, visit

Deer Creek Reservoir is marked with the red pinpoint Image: Google Maps


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