A North Augusta teen drowned in Clark’s Hill Lake Sunday evening.
Uriel Diaz, 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 begin panicking when the float drifted out of reach, according to a Columbia County Sheriff’s Office incident report.
“He was not a swimmer,” Columbia County Deputy Coroner Bonnie Holloway said. “He didn’t know how to swim. The water was not over his head. He panicked.”
Diaz’s 16-year-old cousin told the couple that he was just playing around. The couple continued walking, but stopped when they realized Diaz wasn’t playing and was yelling for help, according to the report.
The woman jumped into the water, but Diaz went under before she reached him and didn’t resurface. The woman said she couldn’t find Diaz in the area she saw him go under.
Diaz’s cousin, who also couldn’t swim, ran to the restroom to get their 21-year-old friend, the report stated. When she returned to the beach area, Diaz had already gone under.
A Columbia County sheriff’s deputy went into the lake to assist several citizens already looking for Diaz.
The Columbia County Dive Rescue and Recovery Team recovered Diaz’s body about 30 feet from shore in about 14 feet of water, Holloway said.