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Body of Canoga Park teenager is recovered from Lake Havasu

A dive boat with divers in the water off the stern
Divers from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office search Monday for a missing 16-year-old in Lake Havasu in Arizona.
(Mohave County Sheriff’s Office)

The body of a teenage boy from Canoga Park who drowned in Lake Havasu was recovered Monday, authorities said.

Mohave County sheriff’s officials said the body of 16-year-old Isaiah Benz was found around 10 a.m. on the bottom of the lake’s South Basin in about 35 feet of water.

Search teams used divers and sonar technology to look for the teen Sunday but had to call off the effort at nightfall.

Authorities said Benz was part of a group out on the lake on a rented pontoon boat Sunday afternoon.

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The pontoon stopped in the lake’s basin so the group could go swimming, and authorities said gusty winds caused the boat to drift away from Benz.

As the group tried to steer the boat back toward the teen, a man fell overboard and was cut by the propeller. The group was able to help him back aboard the boat.

Meanwhile, two others jumped into the water to help the teen but then had to get back on the boat after nearly drowning themselves.

All three were taken by a Lake Havasu City fire boat to land, where they were taken to a hospital in stable condition.

Canoga Park High School, where Isaiah played football, tweeted on Monday about the teen’s death.

“It is with profound sadness we announce the passing of one of our own,” the school said in a tweet. “Isaiah ‘Izzy’ Benz Lost his life and a tragic incident over the weekend. Great teammate, always positive And a contagious smile. You will be missed Izzy.”

David Perez, Canoga Park’s football coach, said Isaiah was a rising star, a junior who had played on the junior varsity squad previously. He was the water boy for the school’s City Division II championship team in 2019.

The death is the second of a Southern California teenager in less than a week at the Arizona lake.

Last Tuesday, 16-year-old Jorge Contreras of Rialto died days after suffering critical injuries when his personal watercraft collided with a boat on the lake.

Times staff writer Eric Sondheimer contributed to this report.


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