Strong winds may have been a factor in Naya Rivera’s drowning, according to a diver involved in the search.
Robert Inglis, of the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office Search & Rescue Team, speculated that gusts on Lake Piru pushed the “Glee” actress’ pontoon away from her after she went for a swim.
“What I suspect is that the winds kicked up. Those pontoon boats are very light, and when you push them, it can get away from you. She might’ve tried to swim after the boat,” Inglis told US Weekly in an article published Monday.
That Rivera, 33, appeared to have left her life jacket on board could have also contributed to the tragic incident.
“The best thing that we can say that contributes to a lot of the drownings is when people go swimming and they are not wearing their life vests and they jumped off the boat,” said Inglis.
“Winds do kick up at that lake, and the boats start to get away and you are trying to go after that boat… you could get a leg cramp,” he added.
“If you are wearing a life vest, you could rest and someone can go back and pick you up, or call for help or something like that.”
Though the waters on the Southern California lake were relatively calm, Inglis said it’s easy to get tired swimming.
“If you’re not familiar with the boat and getting on and off the boat, you can get tired just climbing onto the boat. You can fall back in, people hit their heads, things like that,” he told the outlet.
Inglis added that “people who are muscular” do not float as easily.
“So in scuba instruction, we have to teach a 10-minute tread water float, and I’ve had divers who are super muscular,” Inglis said.
“They struggle because they are sinking. They can’t float. So depending on the body tone of a person, you could get that feeling that you are being sucked down because you really just can’t float.”
Inglis dove to search for Rivera in the first 48 hours after Rivera was reported missing Wednesday, while on a trip with her 4-year-old son Josey.
Her body was reportedly found at the lake on Monday.
[via Page Six]