ECHO PARK (CBSLA) — A dive team recovered a body Thursday afternoon during a search for a man who went into Echo Park Lake after his swan paddleboat overturned.
The 23-year-old victim, whom the survivor said was his cousin named “Germán,” was reported to have gone into the lake after a paddleboat he and his cousin were in overturned just before 4 a.m.READ MORE: Food Truck Crashes In Vernon; One Dead
Firefighters spent the morning searching the lake’s murky water, going out into paddleboats themselves and using their flashlights to scan the surface. They also used the lights from ladder trucks to try and illuminate the water.
Police say a total of six people went out in three paddleboats at about 3 a.m. One boat carrying two men overturned. One man was able to get to the side of the lake after the paddleboat overturned, and was seen yelling for help.
“He stood up and the boat capsized,” Los Angeles police Sgt. Frank Preciado said. “He swam over to the edge of the lake.”READ MORE: `Solidarity' Cited In New Deal For 40k Behind-the-Scenes Film & TV Workers
When he made it to the edge of the lake, he looked back and saw the other man struggling. Police say the man could not swim.
The other four people who went out in boats left the scene as the man’s cousin screamed for help. Police said all parties might have been drinking alcohol at the time.
The man who survived is being questioned and could face charges from felony theft to trespassing.MORE NEWS: Child, 18 Months, Killed in North Hills Crash
Echo Park Lake is popular for its paddleboat rentals, but the service shuts down at sunset. Police believe the cables holding the boats were cut.