The teen who drowned Sunday evening in Thurmond Lake has been identified as a North Augusta resident.
Uriel Diaz Lazaro, 15, drowned while at West Dam Recreation Area with his cousin and a friend from Grovetown.
A Dearing couple said they saw the teen fall off his float and panic when the float drifted out of reach, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
“He was not a swimmer,” county Deputy Coroner Bonnie Holloway said. “He didn’t know how to swim. The water was not over his head. He panicked.”
Lazaro’s 16-year-old cousin told the couple that he was just playing around.
The couple continued walking, but stopped when they realized Lazaro wasn’t playing and was yelling for help, according to the report. The woman jumped into the water, but Lazaro went under before she reached him and didn’t resurface.
The woman said she couldn’t find Lazaro in the area she saw him go under.
Lozaro’s cousin, who also didn’t know how to swim, ran to the restroom to get their 21-year-old friend, the report states.
When she returned to the beach area, Lazaro had already gone under.
A sheriff’s deputy went into the lake to help several people who were already looking for Lazaro.
The Columbia County Dive Rescue and Recovery Team recovered Lazaro’s body about 30 feet from shore in about 14 feet of water, Holloway said.