Just over the weekend, a tragic drowning took place in Lake Lanier, located in the northern portion of the U.S. state of Georgia. The incident occurred about 6.30pm when a loving father of age 40 years old went to the aid of his 14 year old son, who was seen struggling in the water. The 14 year old, along with his brother were attempting to swim from shore to an island about 60 yards (55m) away. His brother made it across safely.

However, to his horror, when he looked back, he realised that his brother was panicking. This was also the time when he saw his father rushing to the aid of his brother. It is assumed that their father had some knowledge of swimming. In all, it took about two hours for the search party to recover the bodies from the bottom of the take. Hall County Fire Services Battalion Chief Chad Black mentioned that the bottom dropped off sharply there as it does in places all around the lake.

“Our divers did encounter some trees down at 30-foot depths.” said Chief Chad Black.

This tragic drowning goes to show that the open waters such as those in lakes differ greatly from that of the public swimming complex. In a public swimming complex, there is a gradual change in the depth along with a clear indication or marking. However, in lakes, there are absolutely no indications. Furthermore, such changes in depths aren’t gradual at all. As mentioned by Chief Black, they can dropped off sharply all around the lake. Apart from that, let’s not forget the timing when they were swimming. It was already at 6.30pm in the evening. At this timing, the skies would have already become darker and visibility would be reduced. They won’t be able to get a clear view of how deep the lake is. Hence, this could have been one of the factors contributing to the drowning. It was a heroic act by the father, unfortunately, he wasn’t able to save both his son and himself from drowning.

This tragic incident illustrates to us that drowning can happen to anyone. It also tells us how unpredictable the open waters are even in lakes. At Happy Fish Swim School, we believe that safety should always be the first priority when it comes to swimming. Therefore, apart from teaching our students how to swim, we also emphasize on survival skills in the water. This is to better prepare them should they meet with any problems when swimming. For more information on the lessons available, do check out our website.