BEAVER — A Beaver teen drowned Thursday while swimming at Minersville Reservoir.
Zachary Todd Burke, 17, was with a group of friends and was swimming in a cove when he began to show signs of distress, Beaver County Sheriff's Lt. Cody Black said. Burke went under the surface of the water and did not emerge.
The incident was reported to dispatch around 6:25 p.m., and officials from the Beaver County Sheriff's Office responded with the help of the county's search and rescue team, Utah Highway Patrol, Washington County Sheriff's Office dive team and the Department of Public Safety helicopter. The dive team located the teen's body just before 11 p.m. in the area where he had last been seen.
Black said he was not sure what the water temperature was, but said it had been a warm afternoon with mild winds.
David Green, principal at Beaver High School, where Burke attended until his graduation last week, said he was called when the teen went missing and went to offer help and support as needed. He described Burke as a decorated athlete who played football and basketball and participated in track and field at the school.
He was a great competitor, but was also well-liked, Green said.Comment on this story
"He's one of those kinds of kids that he had friends everywhere he went," he said. "He was able to meet with kids from Beaver, Milford and the surrounding communities. He was just a very popular young man."
Green attended a memorial for Burke at the school Friday morning. He estimated approximately 100 others were there, including counselors.
"We were there to just kind of watch and make sure all those kids were OK and had the proper counseling," Green said. "I can tell you right now that everybody is still in shock that this happened. We're going to miss him very much here, and I know everybody in the community feels the same."