Members of the Canoga Park High School football team gathered Monday to remember a 16-year-old teammate who drowned in Lake Havasu during a family vacation.
Mohave County Sheriff’s officials said the body of 16-year-old Isaiah Benz of Canoga Park was located around 10 a.m. on the bottom in 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 night fall.
The rising football star shared a strong bond with his teammates, who gathered at the school's stadium Monday to share memories. They described Isaiah as a great teammate with a positive attitude and a contagious smile.
"He was an all-around kid," said head football coach David Perez. "Truly one of our family members.
"We're going to miss his beautiful smile."
Isaiah was vacationing with relatives last week, friends said. He and others jumped into Lake Havasu's South Basin Sunday for a swim
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Authorities said Benz was part of a group out on the lake on a rented pontoon, which was pushed away from him by high winds.
"It's hard to believe, and it's heartbreaking," said Canoga Park High School graduate George Hernandez. "He always wanted to work out. He always wanted to compete.
As the group tried to steer the boat back toward the teen, a man onboard fell off and was lacerated by the propeller. The group was able to help him back on.
Meanwhile, two others jumped in 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 transported to a hospital in stable condition.