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Two Drown at Lake Red Rock Just Hours and Miles Apart

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LAKE RED ROCK, Iowa -- The Marion County Sheriff's Office says two people drowned just a few hours and miles apart on Lake Red Rock Sunday evening.

The first 911 call came in about a young swimmer at North Overlook Beach just after 5 p.m.

"I heard all the sirens, all the commotion," said camper Holly Langille of Newton.

First responders rushed to the scene to try to save 6-year-old Alexi Oquendo. The boy was found 25 yards from shore in water just four feet deep.

"Another 12-year-old little girl found him, pulled him up. Bystanders were able to get him to shore, started CPR," said Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt.

Oquendo was pronounced dead at the hospital. Witnesses say he was wearing a life jacket but took it off before going into the water.

Around 6:30 p.m., dispatch received another emergency call. This time about a capsized kayak near Cordova Cabins. Witnesses saw 50-year-old Daniel Tutor of Des Moines fishing in the area. A short time later, they noticed his kayak, but there was no sign of him.

A search lasted for about an hour and a half. The Iowa DNR Water Patrol used sonar equipment to locate his body at the bottom of the lake.

"It was choppy, the wind was pushing towards the shoreline so that may have been a factor in both accidents perhaps the drowning at the beach as well as the kayak on the water," said Josh Conrad, Assistant Operations Manager with the US Army Corps of Engineers.

Officials say Tutor had a life jacket with him but wasn't wearing it at the time. They are reminding people of all ages to strap on their life jackets in and around the water.

"Both the small boy that drowned at North Overlook Beach as well as the gentleman who drowned in the kayak, had they been wearing life jackets, it's a very good chance they would still be with us today," said Conrad.

The Corps says the last time someone drowned on Red Rock was back in 2012.

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