Police ID man who drowned saving Scout in Salem Lake

File photo: Pond5

SALEM, Utah, July 19, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials have identified the Utah County Scout leader who drowned while saving a member of his troop Wednesday night in Salem.

The victim is 22-year-old Wesley Robert Kratzer of Orem.

Kratzer, leader of an Orem troop sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, had brought his Scouts to Salem to practice basic swimming techniques so they could qualify for swimming merit badges.

“He was with a young man who was struggling, and he pushed the boy toward the shore,” Chief Brad James, Salem Police Department, told Gephardt Daily.

“He never resurfaced. But he did save the life of that young man.”

James said the boys in the troop were ages 10 and 11.

Officials were called to the scene at about 7 p.m., and multiple divers were assigned to the search. The victim was found a little before 8 p.m.

“He was transported to Mountain View Hospital, but he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead,” James said.

“He died, but he did it saving a life,” James said.


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