2nd Drowning Reported At Turner Falls In 3 Days
For the second time in three days, a person has drowned at Turner Falls.
On Friday afternoon, The Oklahoma Highway Patrol dive team recovered the body of a 39-year-old man from the Blue Hole.
Witnesses said the man slipped from a ledge.
While it is a popular tourist destination, drawing around 5,000 people each day over the summer, Davis Assistant Police Chief Dee Gregory said it's not without its dangers.
“They are not man-made pools, they are nature and not flat bottom, you can’t always see the bottom,” Gregory said.
Because some areas suddenly drop off, the city passed an ordinance three years ago requiring all children 13 and under to wear a life vest.
While signs warning patrons to swim at their own risk are posted, those who can't swim often brave deeper waters. This week, two adults drowned at the Blue Hole and the Falls.
“Those are the deep swimming areas we have, the creek is fairly shallow,” said Gregory.
Gregory said Friday’s victim went under in about 12 feet of water and attempted to hang on to a teen as he went down.
“I guess when the man slipped in the water, from shallow to the deep part, he reached up and grabbed one of them,” said Gregory.
Once the teen realized the man was in need of help, it was too late.
“In a knee-jerk reaction, like anyone would do when someone grabs you, you pull away and then he realized what was going on,” said Gregory.
The teen grabbed a hold of the man before he slipped through his hands and went under.
“We called for and had the dams pulled at the hole to lower the water,” said Gregory.
A short time later, Gregory was confronted by a woman and her children
“She was very scared because she couldn't find her husband,” said Gregory.
This is the second summer the park has operated without lifeguards, citing a lack of interest and applicants for the job. Signs warn patrons to swim at their own risk.
The park's manager told News 9 city councilmen were at the park following Friday’s drowning. They're hoping to come up with a plan to make the park safer for its patrons.