PUEBLO, Colo. (CBS4) — The Pueblo County Coroner confirmed the identity of two men who died Friday at Lake Pueblo. The bodies of Zion Thomkins of Philadelphia and Michael Carter from Chesapeake, Virginia, were recovered by search crews about three hours after the first call to 911.

Both men were 21 years of age.

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(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife/Twitter)

Authorities believed at one point that the two men were boating at the lake, but learned the pair were instead swimming. Swimming is not allowed at Lake Pueblo.

“We offer our condolences to the families and friends of these men,” Lake Pueblo State Park Manager Monique Mullis said. “We hate seeing lives lost so tragically. This is another sad example of why swimming is not permitted anywhere in Lake Pueblo. Swimming is only permitted in Rock Canyon Swim Beach below the dam. This incident also points to the importance of wearing life jackets when you are in the water.”

(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife/Twitter)

Rangers with the Colorado Parks and Wildlife responded within minutes to the scene, according to a press release from CPW.

“They were greeted by a second group of frantic park guests on the shore who indicated another man had also gone missing while swimming not far from the first victim,” CPW stated in the release.

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A CPW boat crew discovered the first body in six feet of water at 4:15 p.m. A CPW underwater drone used for evidence recovery located the second body as the first was being taken to shore.

(credit: Colorado Parks & Wildlife/Twitter)

The coroner will issue a determination of cause of death – presumably drowning – at a later date.

Lake Pueblo was at capacity before noon Saturday, according to a tweet by lake rangers.

The campgrounds at the lake were opened May 18th, though by reservation only and under the social distancing guidelines of the state’s Safer At Home public health order. Playgrounds remain closed.

Wading is permitted at the lake.

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