A 24-year-old Colorado Parks and Wildlife employee apparently drowned Tuesday near Steamboat Springs, swimming after his workday.
David Mutabazi was swimming about 4:30 p.m. in Steamboat Lake State Park and was about 100 yards from shore when he began “struggling in the water,” according to a parks department news release.
A witness tried to swim out to help Mutabazi, but he disappeared “before she was able to reach him,” the release said.
Park rangers and a Routt County deputy recovered the body about 9:35 p.m. Tuesday.
“We are shocked and very saddened by this loss,” Park Manager Julie Arington said. “David was a great, responsible person and a hard worker. It’s just a tragedy for his family, me, everyone at the park, CPW and everybody that knew him.”
An immigrant from Africa, Mutabazi, a seasonal worker of the parks department, was a student at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
Mutabazi frequently swam in the lake after his afternoon jog around the park.
“He was strong and athletic,” Arington said. “We do not know what happened. It appears to be just a tragic accident.”
The Routt County Sheriff’s Office conducted an investigation and concluded the drowning was an accident. The Routt County coroner will perform an autopsy.