Navy officer drowns at Thurmond Lake

Sunday, June 23, 2013 9:43 PM
Last updated Monday, June 24, 2013 5:24 AM
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A 26-year-old Navy officer drowned Sunday evening while swimming near West Dam on Thurmond Lake.

The man, whose name has not been released, was swimming with five friends at the Augusta Sailing Club in Appling when the group tried to reach a buoy about 50 yards from the roped-off swimming area at West Dam, Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. All five friends made it to the buoy and returned, but the victim went under and didn’t surface.

The sheriff’s office was notified at 6:12 p.m., dispatch said. Water rescue crews were sent to the scene at 6:16 p.m.

The man was pronounced dead at 8:04 p.m., Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said. The body will undergo an autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta on Tuesday.

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KSL
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KSL 06/24/13 - 07:30 am
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Very sad

Need more details why an officer in the Navy would drown under those circumstances.

Mudge
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Mudge 06/24/13 - 08:28 am
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Very sad

I am pretty sure that being an officer in the Navy had nothing to do with his swimming abilities.

augrichgal
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augrichgal 06/24/13 - 09:23 am
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A navy officer knows how to

A navy officer knows how to swim is what I think KSL was probably referring to too. It is a must.

Sad situation.

JENNPAT
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JENNPAT 06/24/13 - 09:53 am
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Navy officer

i don't understand how the navy man drowned they are trained how to swim doing basic training my son was in the navy.so something had to go wrong my prayers go out to all of his family and his friends i know this was hard on the group he was with

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/24/13 - 10:36 am
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Sad story, but I question a

Sad story, but I question a couple of the statements. The article said : "was swimming with five friends at the Augusta Sailing Club in Appling when the group tried to reach a buoy about 50 yards from the roped-off swimming area at West Dam".

Which is it? Were they swimming at the Club or West Dam?

WalterBradfordCannon
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WalterBradfordCannon 06/24/13 - 10:52 am
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At this particular location,

At this particular location, in a cove, a West Dam beach is on one side of the cove and the sailing club on the other, with a buoy slightly more than halfway from the sailing club to the beach. I swam most of the way to the sailing club from the beach around 4:30 yesterday, and a twelve year old (swimmer) in our group swam to the sailing club and back. The water was not turbulent. From the sailing club to the buoy is definitely under 200 yards, maybe as little as 150 yards.

https://maps.google.com/maps?q=30809&ll=33.65729,-82.21682&spn=0.005617,...

Bizkit
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Bizkit 06/24/13 - 11:01 am
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Strange that a strong swimmer

Strange that a strong swimmer and individual would drown. I wonder if some of those 100 lb catfish aren't grabbing people and pulling them under by surprise. I've watched a catfish eat a duck and ducklings so ........makes you wonder. A catfish can be aggressive too.

navycubfan
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navycubfan 06/24/13 - 11:10 am
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Strong Swimmer??

The article never said he was a strong swimmer nor does being in the Navy equate to being a strong swimmer. The basic training test for enlisted personnel is to jump from a platform into the water, swim a short distance and float for 5 minutes. Even the weakest of swimmers can do this. Not sure what the officer requirements are but I assume they are similar unless you're going to be an aviator or a SEAL. That being said..prayers out to his family and his fellow command members.

KSL
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KSL 06/24/13 - 11:29 am
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Someone at Georgia Tech

Someone at Georgia Tech developed a technique to prevent drowning, provided you are conscious when you are in the water. It is called drown proofing. I was taught the technique at my northern college in 1965.

KSL
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KSL 06/24/13 - 11:34 am
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Mudge
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Mudge 06/24/13 - 11:35 am
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navycubfan

Thank you for the posting. I spent more than 20 years in the Navy and that is exactly the qualifications that were needed. The poor individual obviously had something go wrong and drowned, very sorry. By the way there are plenty of people in the Navy who cannot swim.

navycubfan
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navycubfan 06/24/13 - 11:42 am
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Mudge

I retired from our great Navy.. Thanks for your service.

KSL
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KSL 06/24/13 - 11:49 am
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Thank you both. My father

Thank you both. My father was in the Navy during WW2. In tbe Pacific.

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/24/13 - 01:13 pm
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You do realize that even good
Unpublished

You do realize that even good swimmers can drown? They can develop a cramp, they can become exhausted, or any number of things can go wrong.

Fitz
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Fitz 06/24/13 - 01:35 pm
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Please be mindful

As a family member of the young man that is no longer with us. I just want to advise people to be mindful of the comments that they leave. You never know the circumstances. Thanks

Humble Angela
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Humble Angela 06/24/13 - 01:42 pm
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Exactly.
Unpublished

Exactly.

KSL
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KSL 06/24/13 - 01:55 pm
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HA

And that is exactly why I brought up drownproofing.

historylover
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historylover 06/24/13 - 03:01 pm
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KSL

Thank you so much for that link. I am not only going to learn the technique but also share it with everyone I know. Almost all of my immediate family has either attended, graduated or taught at Tech so it also makes me very proud. I am so sorry for this man's family. it could have been something as simple as a cramp. Even great swimmers sometimes drown.

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/24/13 - 05:30 pm
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Walter, I am familiar with

Walter, I am familiar with the area as I am a member of the sailing club. That is why I was interested to know were the group swimming from the club or not, as I may know some of them.

GnipGnop
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GnipGnop 06/25/13 - 04:50 pm
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It could be several things....

Fatigue may have set in and the swimmer panics, cramps can occur also causing panic, swimmers misjudge distances and panic, alcohol is involved. No matter the reason I am sad that a young serviceman lost his life...

itsanotherday1
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itsanotherday1 06/24/13 - 11:15 pm
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In case anyone else is

In case anyone else is interested, I received an email from the club tonight that the sailing club was not involved beyond allowing emergency services to launch rescue craft from our ramps.

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