Officials: No extra weekend Pineview patrols in wake of swimming accident

Sep 2 2011 - 11:36pm

OGDEN -- The Weber County Sheriff's Office isn't planning to increase patrols over the long Labor Day weekend at Pineview Reservoir, where a swimmer was struck and killed by a boat last month.

The usual number of deputies will be in boats patrolling the reservoir, said Sheriff's Lt. Mark Lowther. "I don't envision anything different."

Seven boating-related fatalities have occurred in Utah so far this year, 10 in 2010 and 12 in 2009, said Deena Loyola, a spokeswoman for Utah State Parks.

About 80 percent of those victims would likely have survived had they been wearing life vests, she said.

Meanwhile, detectives are continuing to investigate the death of Esther Fujimoto, 49, who was killed Aug. 7 by a boat as she swam in Pineview Reservoir.

Detectives have impounded a boat suspected to have hit Fujimoto and, through a multitude of tips, identified three men believed to have been aboard, Lowther said.

One of the men has been interviewed by investigators. Lowther declined to identify the trio.

Forensic evidence from the boat is also being analyzed.

Greg Skordas, a Salt Lake City attorney, represents the two men who have not been interviewed by detectives.

Skordas said Friday he was in contact with law enforcement officers and has also been in touch with the Weber County Attorney's Office.

Skordas declined to identify his clients.

Information was not available regarding the attorney representing the third man aboard the boat.

No charges have been filed as a result of Fujimoto's death, which Skordas described as an unfortunate accident.

Fujimoto, an Ogden resident and a University of Utah researcher, died while swimming with her sister in the Spring Creek Cove area of Pineview Reservoir.

A resident in the area called 911 and rowed out to help Fujimoto. The resident managed to keep Fujimoto's head above water until help arrived, but the swimmer died at the scene.

Witnesses said someone in the 20-foot blue-and-white boat spoke with Fujimoto after she was struck and that the boat fled the scene.

Lowther said Fujimoto's injuries were consistent with those of someone who had been hit by a boat.

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