Drowning victim recovered at Lake Meredith

Authorities recovered the body of 17-year-old Isiaha Page on Monday at the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area. Page was swimming with friends early Sunday and was unable to make it back to shore. (photos by Tim Howsare)Page’s body was found in the vegetated area to the left of the pickup truck.
Staff Report
Staff Writer

A 17-year-old Fritch man died Sunday at Cedar Canyon on Lake Meredith within Lake Meredith National Recreation Area.
Isaiha Page drowned while swimming in Cedar Canyon located near Sanford Yake on Lake Meredith, according to a released statement from the National Park Service.
At approximately 2:03 a.m. Sunday, National Park Service rangers were notified of a 911 call about a swimmer who went under and had not resurfaced.
Park rangers arrived on scene at 2:20 a.m., approximately 17 minutes after the call was received, but the NPS rangers were unable to locate the swimmer.
The Amarillo Police Department Dive Team arrived at Cedar Canyon around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday and began searching the area where Page was reported to have been swimming. Aquatic vegetation, poor underwater visibility and brush on the bottom of the lake made search conditions very difficult.
Eric Smith, superintendent at Lake Meredith, said at the scene there also was land vegetation in the water, such as mesquites and salt cedars, that had started growing when the lake level was much lower several years ago.
Smith said that Page was swimming with three or four of his buddies and all were about the same age.
Divers were unable to locate Page’s body on Sunday, Smith said. Texas Parks & Wildlife wardens utilized their boats and sonar to search a broad area in Cedar Canyon. The Cedar Canyon area was closed to the public Sunday evening and the area was secured by NPS rangers and the Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Office.
The Amarillo PD dive team resumed their underwater search at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Monday along with a sonar search by Texas Parks & Wildlife wardens. Late Monday morning, Page’s body was discovered at a depth of eight feet by APD Dive Team members, according to the released statement.
His next of kin was notified, authorities said at the scene.
Page’s body was sent to the medical examiner’s office in Lubbock for autopsy and toxicology screening. A multi agency investigation into the drowning is ongoing.
Smith said it’s been a while since there has been a drowning at Lake Meredith.
Smith would like to remind all park visitors to be aware of the dangers of recreating in and around water. Conditions at Lake Meredith can change rapidly. Windy conditions Saturday night and early Sunday morning caused fairly large surface waves in the area Page was swimming, he said.
Also, remember that fatigue or other medical factors can change your abilities and conditions in which you can safely swim.
Smith said it was a sad day for everyone working the recovery because the victim was a juvenile.
“This was a healthy, young 17-year-old,” he said.
The NPS would like to thank its partner agencies that assisted during the search and recovery. They were Texas Parks & Wildlife Department, Hutchinson County Sheriffs’ Office, Hutchinson County Emergency Management, Fritch Volunteer Fire Department and Amarillo Police Department.