Victim in Palisades State Park Drowning Identified as SMSU Student, Resident of Nepal
UPDATE: Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead has identified the man who drowned at Palisades State Park over the the weekend.
"The victim is 19-year-old Arbin Thapa. He's a student at Southwest Minnesota State University in Marshall and a resident of Nepal."
Milstead says Thapa's body was recovered Sunday morning.
"He was there with friends and classmates also from Nepal. They witnessed him jumping into the water from lower rocks. The water there is extremely cold. It is deep all the way from several feet to twenty feet deep at that location."
Milstead says the body was found in a hole about 12 feet deep.
By Jerry Dahmen, KSOO News
The body of a 19-year-old international student was discovered by authorities on Sunday (April 23) after a two day water rescue search at Palisades State Park near Garretson.
The Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office responded to a call on Saturday April 22, 2017 when a group of friends who were swimming with the 19 year old had lost sight of the man in the water. Despite numerous attempts to locate the victim, the search was called off for the night and resumed Sunday morning. The body was discovered at 10:52 AM Sunday morning.
Sergeant Scott Dubbe describes the search in a released statement:
"Friends reported the 19-year-old male jumped off a rock near the lower picnic area. Moments later, his friends lost sight of him and called emergency responders. After unsuccessful rescue efforts, crews began recovery efforts, which were suspended at nightfall."
The name of the man has not yet been released. An update from Sergeant Jerry Winter of the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office stated that due to the fact that the drowning victim was an international student, authorities are making every effort to contact the family abroad.
Fire Departments that worked together were from Garretson, Brandon, Splitrock and Sioux Falls Fire Rescue. Also working cohesively, Garretson Ambulance, South Dakota Game Fish and Parks, Sanford Airmed 9, the Minnehaha County Emergency Management Search and Rescue, and the Red Cross.