Drowning victims' families want lake reevaluated - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Drowning victims' families want lake reevaluated

Investigators use boats to search Lake Hartwell for a missing swimmer. (Aug. 6, 2012/FOX Carolina) Investigators use boats to search Lake Hartwell for a missing swimmer. (Aug. 6, 2012/FOX Carolina)
ANDERSON, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Back in May, 33-year-old Elio Segura drowned while swimming with his family in Lake Hartwell at the Singing Pines Recreation Area in Anderson County.

And on July Fourth, another swimmer, 33-year-old Crystal Lester, drowned at Singing Pines. On Monday a deputy coroner reported a third drowning in the same area.

The body was identified as 47-year-old James McClain. Investigators said he was trying to get a toy for his grandson.

"We've heard that there have been multiple deaths out there at Singing Pines and we're just hoping that we can try and get it closed down," Jerica Brown said.

Brown is Lester's daughter. On Tuesday, she said she and her family want the Army Corps of Engineers to reevaluate the lake.

"I would really appreciate if they either closed it down, or fixed it to the point where they know the different levels and know the how the lake runs," Brown said.

Greg Lucas knows a lot about Lake Hartwell. He's a conservation educator with the Department of Natural Resources. He said Lake Hartwell is a man-made lake, built back in the 60s.

"You had river, valleys, you had high areas and low areas. All these areas were filled up with water. You have much more shallow swimming areas when the lake is up in its normal boundaries, whereas when the lake goes far down you start to have more of a drop off," Lucas said.

He said DNR agents patrol the lake, but they don't maintain it. Lucas said that's what the Army Corps of Engineers does.

Lucas said Lake Hartwell is an open lake with no lifeguards, and swimmers swim at their own risk. He said because levels change so often it's important for swimmers to be careful.

"You can step into some areas that drop off really quickly, plus they're very mucky," Lucas said.

McClain's family members said in an unfortunate irony, McClain was at Singing Pines on July 4, stood on the shore and prayed for Lester when her body was pulled from the lake. And now the Lester family said they will do the same and pray for the McClains.

"I really appreciate the fact that he was out there praying for my mom," Brown said.

DNR agents are encouraging all swimmers to wear life jackets while at the lake. FOX Carolina tried to contact the Army Corps of Engineers, but did not hear from anyone as of Tuesday night.

Copyright 2012 FOX Carolina (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

  • Local NewsLocalMore>>

  • Police: Man attempted to use counterfeit bills twice at same store

    Police: Man attempted to use counterfeit bills twice at same store

    Sunday, August 19 2018 1:18 PM EDT2018-08-19 17:18:37 GMT
    Source: Myrtle Beach Police Department FBSource: Myrtle Beach Police Department FB
    Source: Myrtle Beach Police Department FBSource: Myrtle Beach Police Department FB
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Police are attempting to identify a man accused of using counterfeit bills at the same Ocean Boulevard convenience store on consecutive days.  Police say the man used a forged $20 bill in late July at the store in the area of 74th Avenue North and North Ocean Boulevard. He then attempted the same maneuver on the next day according to officials.  Myrtle Beach Police Department If you have any information please contact Detective Krist...More >>
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Police are attempting to identify a man accused of using counterfeit bills at the same Ocean Boulevard convenience store on consecutive days.  Police say the man used a forged $20 bill in late July at the store in the area of 74th Avenue North and North Ocean Boulevard. He then attempted the same maneuver on the next day according to officials.  Myrtle Beach Police Department If you have any information please contact Detective Krist...More >>
  • Habitat for Humanity helps family build their first home

    Habitat for Humanity helps family build their first home

    Sunday, August 19 2018 12:15 PM EDT2018-08-19 16:15:28 GMT
    Stanley's cut the ribbon at their new home (Source: WMBF News)Stanley's cut the ribbon at their new home (Source: WMBF News)
    Stanley's cut the ribbon at their new home (Source: WMBF News)Stanley's cut the ribbon at their new home (Source: WMBF News)

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -- Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of Horry County has been helping build, renovate and repair homes for families throughout the community. Saturday, one of those families received the keys to their new home. “It’s been a long struggle and hard process, but I made it through by the help of the good Lord, my mom and my kids,” said Sonya Stanley. For the Stanley’s it’s been nearly a two-year process going through the&nb...

    More >>

    HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) -- Since 1991, Habitat for Humanity of Horry County has been helping build, renovate and repair homes for families throughout the community. Saturday, one of those families received the keys to their new home. “It’s been a long struggle and hard process, but I made it through by the help of the good Lord, my mom and my kids,” said Sonya Stanley. For the Stanley’s it’s been nearly a two-year process going through the&nb...

    More >>
  • Sen. Hembree home recovering after brain aneurysm scare

    Sen. Hembree home recovering after brain aneurysm scare

    Sunday, August 19 2018 11:49 AM EDT2018-08-19 15:49:40 GMT
    S.C. Sen. Greg Hembree (Source: Greg Hembree for Senate website)S.C. Sen. Greg Hembree (Source: Greg Hembree for Senate website)
    S.C. Sen. Greg Hembree (Source: Greg Hembree for Senate website)S.C. Sen. Greg Hembree (Source: Greg Hembree for Senate website)
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Sen. Greg Hembree is finally home Sunday after suffering a brain aneurysm in early July. His daughter posted Saturday on Facebook, "My parents made it home from the hospital around lunchtime today and my dad is doing well." Sen. Hembree spent eight days in a medically-induced coma according to information from his family. Since 2013, Hembree has served Horry and Dillon counties in Senate District 28. Prior to his November 2012 ele...More >>
    MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) — Sen. Greg Hembree is finally home Sunday after suffering a brain aneurysm in early July. His daughter posted Saturday on Facebook, "My parents made it home from the hospital around lunchtime today and my dad is doing well." Sen. Hembree spent eight days in a medically-induced coma according to information from his family. Since 2013, Hembree has served Horry and Dillon counties in Senate District 28. Prior to his November 2012 ele...More >>
Powered by Frankly