Young father drowns in southern Kentucky lake

Published: May. 23, 2016 at 11:16 PM EDT
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A man drowned Monday night while he was swimming with a friend in Laurel Lake.

Whitley County Emergency Management Director Danny Moses said the 21-year-old Zachary Anderson, of Richmond, went under around 8 p.m. near the spillway in Whitley County.

Moses said Anderson was at the spillway with his wife and their young child. He said Anderson and a friend walked around the cove and then tried to swim back, but the Anderson didn't make it.

"They actually walked around the cove and decided not to walk back, just swim across. They made it about halfway across when he went under. Friend tried to save him and wasn't able to," Moses explained.

As crews searched for his body, a Louisiana dive team wasn't far off and they jumped in to help too.

Their crew is from the Gulf Coast but year after year, they trek more than 600 miles to search Laurel Lake for Clarence Holmes, a boater who went missing during a storm nearly four years ago.

While they haven't been able to Holmes's body yet; Monday night, they used sonar and an underwater vehicle to find Anderson.

"We knew where he went down, in general location." Moses continued saying, "Probably 15 minutes after we put that in, we were able to locate him. That doesn't happen all of the time, but this time we were lucky."

Crews found Anderson in an area of the lake that is 28 feet deep.

Moses said the takeaway is that the lake is very deep in places, and everyone needs to wear a life jacket.

"I know most people don't want a life jacket when swimming, but they will save your life," Moses said.