Third person drowns at Lake Nacimiento

August 11, 2011


A third person has drowned in Lake Nacimiento in 40 days.

The San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department confirmed Lucien Mackie Langenbeck was found in 8-feet of water in the Heritage Ranch area of the lake around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The 42-year-old man had been diving off a pontoon float secured to a dock near his Heritage Ranch home. When he failed to surface, a friend went in after him.

After finding Langenbeck the friend brought him to the surface and immediately began performing CPR on the lake shore.

According to emergency dispatch information, the friend that tried to resuscitate him may have been an off-duty Arroyo Grande police officer.

Emergency responders requested air ambulance service but the helicopter was not available. So, Langenbeck was taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton but pronounced dead on arrival.

This latest death at Nacimiento Lake follows two others that occurred in July.

On July 30, 22-year-old Leandrew McGee who was on a hike with friends drowned after he appeared to have taken a short-cut across a section of the lake, according to Sheriff’s Department Spokesman Rob Bryn. He was swimming alone.

The Oxnard man was first reported missing but later was pulled from the lake by search and rescue divers the following day.

Just weeks earlier on July 3, the body of 4-year-old Araceli Garcia of Greenfield was found in six-feet of water.

“The caregiver was 16 and turned around for a second. When she turned back the little girl was gone,” Bryn said.

The lake has seen an unusually high number of drownings this summer–all which according to the Sheriff’s Department, could have been prevented.

“We have advised everyone to make sure no matter how competent you are as a swimmer or a boater, if you are in a boat, a personal flotation device is mandatory. If you are swimming or even floating in the lake we encourage the use of personal flotation devices designed and intended for your weight and size,” Bryn said.

“We could have avoided all three of these had that been the case.”

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Very sorry to hear more sad news like this.

But, I have a question, how many of these drownings and ATV accidents this year are alcohol related?

We forget how easy it is to die . . .

My condolences to those who suffer from this loss. Prayers and thoughts be with you all.