Guatemalan man drowns at Lake Berryessa; second drowning in 2 weeks

Napa County Sheriff’s Office rescue divers on Sunday recovered the body of a 25-year-old man who drowned while swimming at Lake Berryessa, authorities said.

He was identified Monday afternoon as Marcos Salvador Grijalva Pocasangre of Guatemala, according to the Napa County Coroner’s office.

He was the second person to drown at the Napa County reservoir over the past two weeks.

Sunday’s drowning was reported about 4:30 p.m. near the Oak Shores Day Use Area on Knoxville Road, said Sheriff’s Office spokesman Henry Woffard.

Pocasangre’s friends told authorities he was an experienced swimmer who was attempting to swim from one end of a cove to another, Woffard said.

Divers found Pocasangre about 15 feet from shore near McKenzie Ridge about 2½ hours after he disappeared, according to Woffard. The water was between 12 and 15 feet deep.

Authorities have not determined what caused the drowning or whether the man was intoxicated, Woffard said.

The incident came just nine days after the sheriff’s office diving team recovered a 22-year-old San Jose man’s body from the reservoir.

The man, identified as Billy Dy, also was an experienced swimmer who disappeared the night of June 18 in the water near Pleasure Cove Marina, Woffard said. Divers found his body the next morning.

Dy was the first person to drown in Lake Berryessa this year. In 2020, there were six drownings at the reservoir, according to Woffard.

“Swimming in a lake is very different than swimming in a swimming pool,” he said. “You can have factors as far as fatigue, misgauging the distance, underestimating the current.”

You can reach Staff Writer Matt Pera at On Twitter @Matt__Pera.

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