Jet skier identified in deadly Caesar Creek State Park water accident

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UPDATE: 11 a.m. May 31, 2022

The man who died after being thrown from a jet ski at Caesar Creek State Park on Sunday has been identified. Donnell Jordan, 31, of Pennsylvania is the victim, according to the Warren County Coroner’s Office.


A man thrown from a jet ski on Caesar Creek died after fellow boaters rescued him and got him to shore Sunday, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

>>2 dead after water rescue in Clark County Sunday

Witnesses reported the jet skier hit a wave and was thrown from his watercraft Sunday afternoon. Joshua Johnson, Vice Division Commander for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary that serves Caesar Creek confirmed the man later died.

An ODNR spokesperson said the man may have suffered a medical event that led to him being thrown off the jet ski but the incident remains under investigation.

Bill Bright was on a boat that came to the man’s rescue. Bright told News Center 7′s Mike Campbell he didn’t see the man get thrown from the jet ski but came to his aid after seeing him in the water.

“We got him to the front of the boat, pulled him around to the back and took him a bit to get him to this ladder. He was just in shock and fatigued, he was absolutely fatigued, he couldn’t even get on the ladder,” Bright said.

>>Swimmer located after water rescue response on Great Miami River in Dayton Monday

“Somebody else jumped in, and they were with him, we threw another life jacket in to give him some more buoyancy, got him to the ladder, and that’s where the trouble began because we couldn’t get him in the boat he was too exhausted,” Bright said.

Bright added others joined in to help get the victim onto his boat.

“A few minutes later he was talking but then he lost consciousness and we lost a pulse and we did CPR on the back of the boat,” he said.

>>Fire department warns of ‘drowning machines’ after kayakers need rescuing at Great Miami River

Bright said once he got to shore they were met by an off-duty paramedic, other paramedics, and eventually a CareFlight medical helicopter landed at the scene.

The deadly incident at Caesar Creek was one of many water rescue incidents during the Memorial Day weekend, including one that led to the deaths of two people in Clark County Sunday.

Johnson said boater education and safety is a strong focus of the Coast Guard Auxiliary and encouraged anyone boating or swimming at recreational waterways to wear life jackets.

“They don’t realize the shock value and they are kind of taken over by the water. Everyone has to be in a life jacket and properly sized is key as well, and be aware of your surroundings,” Johnson said.

Bright added the man thrown from the jet ski was wearing a life jacket.

“He was wearing a life jacket, he was just in distress,” he said.