Holiday weekend off to deadly start

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Gerran Thomas

MARSHALL COUNTY, Ky. - At the new beach area of Kentucky Dam Village, the gates are closed and signs say "no swimming" after an afternoon with friends turned deadly. It's a painful start to one of the busiest weekends on the water that Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Sergeant Garry Clark said he'd hoped not to see. 

"Before I said if I never see another drowning in my career it would be great but evidently that's not going to be the thing," said Clark.     

Around 12:30 Friday afternoon, Fish and Wildlife Officers along with the Marshall County Sheriff's Department and Rescue Squad responded to the beach. Boats searched Kentucky Lake for any signs of a teenager who drowned in the waters. Witnesses say the 19 year old was swimming with friends when he went under and was not seen again. Rescue boats with side scan sonar technology helped locate and recover the teen's body a few hours later.

Although it is a call no one enjoys responding to, emergency crews take comfort in the fact that they are able to give the teen's family and friends some sense of closure.

"It's bad anytime you have a drowning or loss of someone in the early hours of the weekend, it does make it bad," added Clark.

While nothing can make this situation any better, Clark hopes warnings about safety over the weekend may keep other families from experiencing pain like what one more local family has to endure.

The new beach area was closed Friday for the search but should reopen Saturday.

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