U.S. Naval Academy identifies Park City drowning victim as midshipman

Midshipman 1st Class John Johnson. Photo: U.S. Naval Academy/Twitter

PARK CITY, Utah, Dec. 16, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The U.S. Naval Academy has identified the man who died Monday in a Park City hotel pool as Midshipman 1st Class John Johnson, 22, of Chapel Hill, N.C.

Johnson died late Monday night while on leave from the U.S. Naval Academy.

“Johnson was with friends at a resort hotel outdoor pool in Park City, Utah, when he didn’t resurface for air,” a tweet from the Academy says.

“According to police reports, the friends jumped in the pool, pulled him out, and began CPR until medical personnel arrived.”

Medical personnel attempted lifesaving measures. After being transported to Park City Medical Center for continued care, Johnson was declared deceased, the Academy statement says.

A statement issued Tuesday by the Summit County Sheriff’s Office says crews responded at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday to the Westgate Hotel, located at 3000 Canyons Resort Drive, for a reported drowning in the hotel outdoor swimming pool.

“Deputies learned that a 22-year-old male from Chapel Hill, North Carolina was with three friends at the hotel,” the statement says. “The group had been consuming alcohol throughout the day. The 22-year-old told his friends he was going to do underwater breathing training in the pool and attempt to hold his breath longer than he had before. After about five minutes, the friends became worried after the man did not resurface; they jumped into the pool and pulled him out.”

Johnson’s friends began CPR until medical crews arrived. After being transported to Park City Medical Center for continued care, Johnson was declared deceased.

Officials at the U.S. Naval Academy shared their thoughts.

“We are deeply saddened to learn about the death of Midshipman John Johnson,” said Vice Adm. Sean Buck, 63rd Superintendent, U.S. Naval Academy. “My wife, Joanne, and I, on behalf of our Naval Academy family here in Annapolis including the many midshipmen, faculty, staff who had formed deep bonds with John, extend our heartfelt condolences to the Johnson family.”

Johnson, set to graduate in June, ranked near the top of his class.

Johnson was awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Association Leadership Award for Academic Year 2019, which is peer-selected by the top ranked (in aptitude for commissioning) midshipmen in each class in each battalion.

“If I were to describe John in one word, it would be ‘passion,'” said 29th Company Officer Lt. Eric Nordquist. “He epitomized and excelled in every area, and earned the respect of everyone who crossed his path. He will be sorely missed by the 29th Company in so many ways.”


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here