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TWO BUTTES, Colo. (KDVR) — A body was recovered by Colorado Parks and Wildlife officers from behind a dam of the Black Hole pond below Two Buttes Reservoir on Saturday.

Officials said family and friends saw the man jump in the water, resurface for a few seconds then go back under and he never came back up.

A search began Friday night when the incident was reported. CPW officers and Baca County Sheriff’s deputies conducted the search with a boat and sonar in the water.

Saturday morning crews continued looking for the man with the addition of CPW’s Marine Evidence Recovery Team from Littleton. The crew used its boat and submersible ROV equipped with sonar, lights and a video camera to find the man’s body.

“This is a tragedy and we offer our condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” CPW Area Wildlife Manager Todd Marriott for the Lamar region said. “Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for people to be injured jumping from the cliffs into the Black Hole. And it’s another example why we urge everyone to wear life jackets when in or near the water.”

The coroner’s office will determine the cause of death and release the man’s identification when the examination is complete.

CPW warns about the importance of water safety

CPW said there have been 30 water-related deaths and 27 confirmed drownings, which includes the mother and daughter who were washed away in a Larimer County flash flood last week. This incident will make the 26th recreation-related drowning this year if confirmed.

The highest number of water fatalities ever happened in 2020 when 34 people drowned. CPW said the number of drownings this year is on pace to surpass 2020.

CPW urges boaters, paddlers, kayakers, and swimmers to “know before you go.” 

“That’s doing your research ahead of time. What activity are you looking to get into and what safety equipment, what required equipment, what locations can you go and have a successful outing on the water,” CPW’s Jason Clay said.