The 42-year-old man who drowned at Lake Red Rock today has been identified as Cha Charles Lee of St. Paul, Minnesota.
He drowned Friday afternoon in an effort to save his seven-year-old niece after she had ventured into deep waters.
Lee's niece was playing at the water's edge at the South Tailwater area of Lake Red Rock with a group of people and inadvertently went into deeper water.
A local fisherman saw the family in distress and rescued seven people, according to Lt. Brian Bigaouette with the Marion County Sheriff's Office in a briefing after the incident. The fisherman made two trips to save the seven people.
The seven-year-old girl was pulled from the water by the boater, but was unconscious and not breathing, according to a news release from the sheriff's office. She was resuscitated when the boater performed CPR.
The girl was transported to Blank Children's Hospital in Des Moines for observation and is listed in stable condition, according to the news release.
In an effort to save his niece, Lee succumbed to deeper waters. Lee was found two hours after the 911 call to Pella Police, which came in at 2:55 p.m. He was found about 20 yards away from the initial incident.
"Although this event ended tragically, I applaud the heroic efforts of the nearby boater," said Marion County Sheriff Jason Sandholdt. "He saved additional family member's lies today by being in the area and providing assistance."
The boater wishes to remain anonymous to respect the family's loss, the news release said. When Sandholdt spoke to the boater, Sandholdt said he was humble and stressed the importance of being trained in CPR, the news release continues.
Agencies responding to the incident included the Marion County Sheriff's Office, Pella Police Department, Pella and Knoxville Fire and Ambulance, Pleasantville Dive Team, Iowa Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.