PLR 20-056 – Off-Duty Water-Related Mishap Claims One Soldier's Life
A Private First Class assigned to Fort Carson, Colorado, died in an off-duty water-related mishap 12 June 2020 in Pueblo, Colorado, at 1330 local. The Soldier submerged underwater while swimming with other Solders at a local state park reservoir. Local law enforcement agencies responded to the scene with sonar and an underwater drone. The Soldier’s body was recovered several hours later and he was pronounced dead by the coroner. It is suspected that an abrupt drop-off into deeper water may have contributed to the drowning. Criminal Investigation Division and unit personnel were notified of the incident, and mishap is under investigation.
Since FY16, the Army has lost an average of eight Soldiers a year to off-duty water-related mishaps. This tragedy was the fourth fatal off-duty water-related mishap of FY20 and below the number of off-duty water-related fatalities from this time last year. As the Army emerges from COVID-19, Soldiers must remember that risk management is critical on and off duty.