Dayton man drowns at Lake Lahontan

A man drowned at Lake Lahontan Sunday during an outing with his wife and friends.

Mike Ellis, a 21-year-old Dayton resident, was swimming out to a buoy from Beach Seven on the Silver Springs side of the lake when he began to struggle, according to Lt. Jeff Page with the Lyon County Sheriff's Department.

A female witness swam out to assist Ellis while he clung to a round, orange-and-white buoy. After communicating with him, she headed back to shore under the impression that he was all right and would swim back behind her, Page said. By the time she reached land, he had gone under.

Witnesses then called 911.

Page and his crew were searching the Carson River for 19-year-old Ben Maxwell of Dayton when they got the call at 2:49 p.m. Maxwell disappeared beneath the muddy waters June 2 after helping a struggling dog.

Page said it took rescue crews about 10 minutes to reach Lake Lahontan.

The Lyon County Sheriff's Department, Central Lyon County Fire Department, Lyon County Search and Rescue and divers with the Washoe County Hasty Team responded to the scene. The divers found his body under water about 45 feet from the shore.

He was found almost two hours after the first 911 call.

By that time, both his and his wife's parents had arrived on the scene, Page said. Other relatives, possibly siblings or cousins, had also arrived. Page honored Ellis' wife's request not to be named.

Page said he does not believe the couple has children.

Alcohol is not believed to be a factor in the incident.

Investigators will talk more with witnesses today to better understand the circumstances of the drowning.


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