WINNSBORO — The Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive team helped Fairfield County divers search Friday night for a teenage boy who drowned at the Lake Wateree State Park, according to Chief Glenn Hamm with Prosperity Rescue and Newberry County’s dive team.
Fairfield County Coroner Barkley Ramsey said Jeramie Coleman, 14, died from asphyxia due to drowning.
Coleman was swimming at the Lake Wateree State Park, Hamm said, when he began struggling in the water and then went under. According to Ramsey, Coleman attempted to swim to a buoy, but got tired.
Bystanders and another swimmer nearby made an attempt to help the victim but could not reach him in time.
Rescue crews and divers interviewed witnesses to determine where the boy was last seen and began diving. The dive lasted just 20 minutes and concluded when two Fairfield County Divers recovered the victim.
Ramsey said the 911 call came in at 6:30 p.m., and Coleman was recovered at 7:48 p.m. Friday.
Hamm said Fairfield County’s Dive Team was formed just this summer and it was only few months ago they received their initial Dive Rescue training in Prosperity with the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team.
“Regardless of age or swimming ability, it is best to have a flotation device within reach,” Hamm said about the incident. “Drowning is the second leading cause of death in the United States for children 14 and younger.”