The Edmond Sun

May 14, 2013

Teen drowns in lake near Guthrie

Mark Schlachtenhaufen
The Edmond Sun

EDMOND — What began as a swim in a Guthrie-area lake ended in tragedy for the family and friends of a 14-year-old drowning victim, officials said.

Guthrie Fire Chief Eric Harlow said dispatch received a call about a possible drowning at 5:42 p.m. Monday at Liberty Lake, which is located along Seward Road between Broadway and Sooner Road. Dispatch reported the teen had gone under near the boat ramp. Next of kin had been notified.

At 5:53 p.m., Guthrie first responders arrived on the scene.

Harlow said a group of 14 and 15 year olds had gone to the lake. They were swimming toward a water supply valve when it is believed the victim decided he couldn’t make it the rest of the way or wouldn’t make it, Harlow said.

On the way back to the shore, they determined the 14-year-old had gone under, Harlow said.

The Guthrie Fire Department requested assistance from Edmond, and both agencies deployed their dive team boats, Harlow said. When officials learned the victim went under about 15 minutes ago, the operation became a recovery mission, Harlow said.

Fifteen minutes after the search began the victim was recovered about 80 feet off the shore in about 16 feet of water, Harlow said.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene, Harlow said. The medical examiner’s office is investigating.

Edmond Fire Maj. Bill Brown said the agency’s dive team used sonar during the search. Five members of the team responded to the scene, Brown said.

Harlow said the water temperature in the lake was in the 60s, a level that can add stress to the human body. Harlow urged individuals to stay out of lakes until June, when the water is at a more tolerable temperature. He also wanted to remind the public about the importance of wearing a flotation device and abiding by lake rules. | 341-2121, ext. 108