LOS GATOS -- Authorities on Monday morning identified two brothers who drowned after their canoe capsized at the Lexington Reservoir above Los Gatos.
Nicholas Nell, 35 from Scotts Valley, died early Sunday afternoon at nearby Good Samaritan Hospital after a dive team from the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office rescued him within the "golden hour," a 60-minute window for resuscitating drowning victims. However, he was pronounced dead at the Los Gatos hospital.
About four hours later, divers pulled the body of his brother, Raymond Nell, a 30-year-old from Aptos, from a depth of 38 feet.
Two others in the canoe, a 16-year-old girl and 25-year-old man, managed to swim to shore after the canoe overturned about 1 p.m. Sheriff's investigators declined to identify them because they are witnesses, but said the two survivors live in Felton.
The Lexington Reservoir is a popular spot for boating. The canoe capsized about 200 feet from the Los Gatos Rowing Club.
According to Sheriff's deputy Kurtis Stenderup, no foul play is suspected, but he said the foursome did not have life jackets on board as required by state law for everyone in a canoe. He said investigators continued to look for a cause of the accident.
"They're trying to find out if wind was a factor in this tragedy," Stenderup said.
Although the reservoir and surrounding terrain may look idyllic to motorists on Highway 17, the recreational area can be a treacherous place.
The previous drowning at the reservoir was on a hot Labor Day in 2004, when a 22-year-old who could not swim waded in to cool off from the heat and slipped into deep water.
In 2000, a 36-year-old San Jose man drowned after his pickup truck went off a mountain road, skidded down the embankment and sank into the reservoir.
Contact Joe Rodriguez at 408-920-5767.