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Tragedies Mar July 4 Holiday at Campgrounds

July 5, 2011 by   - () Leave a Comment

At least six drownings were reported at the nation’s RV parks and campgrounds over the long July 4 weekend. Among the reports were the following:

MICHIGAN

From WTVG-TV, Toledo, Ohio:

There are new details surrounding a drowning at a Morenci, Mich., campground. The Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office confirms they found the body of 24-year-old Michale Morris.

Crews were called to Green Valley Campgound around 11:30 p.m. Sunday July 3). That’s where Morris, who’s from Morenci, was swimming with family and friends.

A witness says he saw Morris do a flip off of a floating dock and didn’t see him resurface. Crews located Morris’ body near the floating block.

From the Monroe (Mich.) Evening News:

A Toledo, Ohio, man drowned Saturday night at the Monroe County/Toledo North KOA Campground in Petersburg.

According to Sgt. Geoff Kovenich of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, 39-year-old Michael L. Jackson attempted to swim across the pond.

“He got to the middle and went down. It’s about 12 foot deep in that area,” he explained. “He was in the water for three or four minutes before being pulled out. They immediately started doing CPR.”

The incident occurred just before 8 p.m. at the campground. KOA staff, off-duty Van Buren Township paramedics and others staying at the campground took turns performing CPR until the ambulance arrived. The Summerfield Township Volunteer Fire Department also assisted at the scene.

Jackson was taken to Flower Hospital, Sylvania, Ohio, where he was pronounced dead. The family has been notified.

“They were absolutely distraught,” Sgt. Kovenich said of the victim’s family.

CALIFORNIA

From KERO-TV, Bakersfield:

At least three people were rescued, two people drowned and one man remained missing after they jumped into the Kern River at the Keysville and Sandy Flat campgrounds. All of them were from other counties.

“We get a lot of out-of-towners and they just don’t know how dangerous it is,” said area resident Debbie Hidden.

Robin Hall tried to rescue the man who went missing at Sandy Flat.

“I heard a splash, I turned around and a guy came around the corner fighting the current. He stopped under a tree and was fighting hard,” said Hall.

Hall and another camper tried to throw a rope to the man.

“We kept trying to get it out to him but he kept getting further away. I never saw him again,” said Hall.

“(It was an) experience I hadn’t experienced before. It got a little crazy, there was screaming and yelling,” said Ronaldo Ramos, another witness

Signs along the highway, along with locals, warn people near campsites.

“We tell them ‘Don’t go in the river. If you don’t have a jacket on, don’t go in at all,'” said Hidden.

But it’s a message that doesn’t seem to be sinking in.

“They’re getting in the river intoxicated and not knowing where they’re at,” said Baldwin.

The station did not immediately identify the drowning victims.

From the Fresno Bee:

A 45-year-old Los Angeles man drowned Sunday when he was swept down the Kaweah River at Sequoia National Park, park officials said.

The man was floating in an inner tubelike device near Buckeye Flat Campground about 12:30 p.m.

A park ranger was notified by a family member about the missing man about 1:15 p.m. The National Park Service sent out a search and rescue team, including helicopters. The man was located about five miles downstream and pronounced dead at the scene. The drowning is under investigation.

Park officials said drowning is the No. 1 cause of death at Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks, and rivers are especially dangerous this time of year. Heavy snowfalls have swollen the rivers, and the water is icy. Swimming and entering the river is not safe now, the officials said.

IOWA

From the Associated Press:

Authorities have released the name of a Minnesota man who drowned at an Iowa campground near Lake Mills, Iowa.

The Worth County sheriff’s office told KIMT-TV that the victim of Friday’s (July 1) drowning at Happy Time Resort was 53-year-old Richard Sharpsteen of Albert Lea, Minn.

His death remains under investigation.

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