Stormy conditions cited in death of Reno man in Topaz Lake

Topaz Lake was one of the major beneficiaries of the October and December storms.

Topaz Lake was one of the major beneficiaries of the October and December storms.
John Flaherty | Special to The R-C

Stormy weather is being cited by state wildlife investigators for the drowning of a 32-year-old Reno man at Topaz Lake on Saturday.

Jacques “Jack” Castaneda another adult and two children were about 200 feet from shore when windy conditions capsized their boat at around 11:40 a.m.

Neither of the adults was wearing a life jacket, though the children were.

Douglas County Sheriff’s deputies pulled one adult and two children from the water to safety.

Casteneda was found unresponsive in the water and deputies performed CPR. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

The three other occupants of the boat were treated by East Fork medics.

“Obviously, our thoughts and prayers to out to the family of this young man,” said Nevada Boating Law Administrator Game Warden Capt. Brian Bowles. “Accidents like this are the reason you always check the weather report before you head out. You never want to be in the middle of the lake when a storm rolls in like it did today.”

Bowles questioned whether the cold water might also have played a role.

Water at Topaz Lake is currently in the low 50s, making it extremely difficult for anyone to have been able to swim to shore.

“The average person would start to lose muscle control within the first few minutes,” he said. “That is why we always ask everyone to wear a life jacket when they are on the water. You just never know what is going to happen.”

Although children under the age of 13 are the only people legally required to wear a life vest, the Nevada Department of Wildlife strongly suggests that everyone wear one when they head out on the water.


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