A young man from Oxford drowned at Hard Labor Creek State Park after venturing past the swimming area Sunday afternoon despite not knowing how to swim, according to the Morgan County Sheriff's Office.
DeAngelo White, 20, was spending the afternoon at the lake beach area, which is not supervised by a lifeguard, with friends, according to MCSO spokesperson Angie Benson.
A witness and friend reportedly told authorities he had advised White to stay within the marked swimming area, which is about less than five feet deep, because he did not know how to swim. When the friend checked on him around 3 p.m., he saw White outside the yellow boundary, flapping his arms before he went under.
White was pulled from the water, reportedly not breathing and with no pulse. An off-duty paramedic and nurse who happened to be in the area began working on him before emergency medical personnel arrived on the scene and were able to find a light pulse, according to Benson.
White was life-flighted to Atlanta Medical Center but died shortly before midnight.
Benson said there were no reported injuries and that it seemed like White simply panicked.
That was the first drowning in several years at Hard Labor Creek State Park, according to Benson, but there have been a number of drownings over the summer months in nearby lakes. Four teenagers drowned this year at Lake Allatoona, and Lake Lanier claimed five victims, the most recent an 18-year-old from Winder. Many of the incidents occurred over holiday weekends.