Deputies Respond to Drowning at Topaz Lake

Douglas County Sheriff's Office Deputies Respond to Drowning at Topaz Lake
Posted on 05/21/2024
Douglas County Sheriff's Office Deputies Respond to Drowning at Topaz Lake

Douglas County, NV – On May 19, 2024, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputies, along with East Fork Fire, responded to the end of Comstock Drive in Topaz for a reported drowning. When deputies and fire personnel arrived, citizens had moved the victim—identified as Todd Anderson, 55, from Sparks—onto the shore and were performing CPR. 

Anderson was transported to Carson Valley Health hospital in Gardnerville where he was pronounced dead. It appears that Anderson was attempting to get a buoy out of the water when he drowned. 

“This tragic event demonstrates the risks of being in water that is snow runoff this time of year,” said Sheriff Dan Coverley. “The water is extremely cold and dangerous during the spring.”


The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office wants to remind those recreating on or near bodies of water to always keep safety as the highest priority. With the approaching Memorial Day holiday and summer boating season, DCSO urges beachgoers to be aware of the dangers and risks that swimming—especially in the often frigid water of Topaz Lake and Lake Tahoe—may present.

  1. Wear a Life Jacket: Always wear a properly fitted life jacket. Even experienced swimmers can encounter unexpected difficulties in open water.
  1. Acclimate Gradually to Cold Water: When entering cold water, do so slowly to allow your body to acclimate and reduce the risk of cold-water shock. Sudden immersion in cold water can cause an involuntary gasp reflex, hyperventilation, and even heart problems. Wade in gradually to let your body adjust to the temperature.
  1. Never Swim Alone: Always swim with a buddy. It's safer and more fun. Make sure someone knows where you are at all times.
  1. Supervise Children Closely: Always keep a close eye on children when they are near or in the water. Children should wear life jackets at all times.
  1. Know Your Limits: Don't push yourself beyond your swimming abilities. If you feel tired, return to shore and take a break.
  1. Avoid Alcohol: Do not consume alcohol when swimming, boating, or supervising children near the water. Alcohol impairs judgment, balance, and coordination.
  1. Watch for Weather Changes: Be mindful of the weather. Storms can develop quickly, and lightning is extremely dangerous near water. Leave the water immediately if you hear thunder or see lightning.
  1. Learn First Aid and CPR: Being knowledgeable in first aid and CPR can save lives in an emergency. Consider taking a course to be prepared.