Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman, Captain Eric Buschow, tells In Touch, “These big reservoirs, there is a lot that goes on. There are plenty of currents,” he said, referring to the summer hotspot in Ventura County, California. “People drown in California lakes every year.”
Previously, Steve White, former Ventura State Beach lifeguard supervisor, told the Los Angeles Times the changing temperatures, large waves and rip currents can sometimes be a deadly combination.
“Someone will come to the beach, maybe wade out a little, step into a deeper hole or get picked up in a rip current and they begin to panic,” said White, who managed a team of 25 guards.
According to the outlet, “Strong winds on Lake Piru often whip up waves that can rock a small boat enough to tip an unsteady fisherman into the water. The lake also holds deep columns of chilly water that can overwhelm people, officials said.”
Rivera, 33, was confirmed dead on Monday, July 13, nearly five days after she was declared a missing person. “Based on the location where the body was found, physical characteristics of the body, clothing found on the body and the physical condition of the body, as well as the absence of any other persons reported missing in the area, we are confident the body we found is that of Naya Rivera,” Sheriff Ayub from the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department confirmed during a press conference.
Ayub added, “[Josey] and Naya swam in the lake together at some point during their journey. It was during that time that her son described being helped into the boat by Naya. He told investigators that he looked back and saw her disappear under the surface of the water.” The officer continued, “She mustered enough energy to get her son onto the boat but wasn’t able to get herself.”
“The son said they were in the water swimming together,” Buschow, who revealed it was windy on July 8, noted. “He came up and got back up on the boat, but she did not. He was found on the boat by a passerby. He was found fast asleep on the boat by himself.” At the time, he said that “there is a high likelihood that the singer drowned,” but “it’s still a search and rescue operation based on the circumstances.” On July 9, the official Twitter account for the sheriff’s office tweeted that the search for Rivera is now a “recovery effort.”
Just days before news broke of the incident, Rivera shared a cryptic message about death. “No matter the year, circumstance or strifes, every day you’re alive is a blessing. Make the most of today and every day you are given,” the singer captioned a selfie on social media on July 3. “Tomorrow is not promised.”
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