Lake Afton Drowning Victim Identified

By: Phil White Email
By: Phil White Email

Stay up-to-date with KAKE News:

UPDATE: Monday, July 9, 2012

Authorities have released the name of a man whose body was recovered from Lake Afton earlier Monday morning.

The body of Dwayne Givens, 47, was found about 6 a.m. Monday. His body was pulled from the water about 15 feet from where he was last seen swimming.

Crews were called to the lake Saturday evening after family members said Givens disappeared while swimming across the lake.

The water is 12 to 15 feet deep where the drowning victim tried to swim across and is up to 25 feet deep in other places.

UPDATE: Sunday, July 8, 2012

Rescue crews spent a second day on Lake Afton Sunday as they searched for the body of a man who disappeared while swimming in the lake Saturday afternoon.

Those involved in the search said the drowning is a sad reminder to be careful around water.

Rescuers were first called to Lake Afton, southwest of Wichita, about 3 p.m. Saturday. They said their job Sunday was a recovery mission. The search was still going on Sunday evening.

"We don't like to see this happen to anybody, so be careful," said Sedgwick County Fire Capt. Steve Atkinson.

His word of caution came as emergency workers began their second day of searching.

"One source said that he was going to swim across the lake," Atkinson said. "He got out 20 to 30 yards and started having problems and went down."

Lake Afton remained closed to boat traffic as divers and rescuers aboard boats searched for the victim.

"We have one boat with side-scanning radar and they're going back and forth where he was last seen, trying to pick anything up on sonar," Atkinson said. "We have another boat doing dragging."

Atkinson and others say this drowning is a reminder that a simple summertime leisure activity can take a dangerous turn quickly.

That was the case in an east Wichita neighborhood Saturday evening.

Wichita Police Sgt. Scott Brunow said several children were swimming in a backyard pool in the 8400 block of East Steeplechase Street about 7 p.m., when they noticed 1-year-old had fallen into the pool.

However, adults were nearby and they were able to act quickly.

"Some of the guests at the house were doctors and were able to perform CPR on-site and revived the 1-year-old," Brunow said.

The child was taken to Wesley Medical Center for observation and is expected to recover.

At Lake Afton, the water is 12 to 15 feet deep where the drowning victim tried to swim across and is up to 25 feet deep in other places. Atkinson says swimmers need to remember to practice common sense water safety.

"Make sure you have your life vest with you," he said. "Don't go swimming out past your abilities."

UPDATE: Sunday, July 8, 2012

The search for a missing swimmer feared drowned at Lake Afton has resumed after being called off Saturday night.

Teams from Sedgwick County and Wichita Fire Deparments called off their search Saturday night, they say, because it was too dark.

Sedgwick County Division Chief Dan Wegner says someone spotted the man floating in the water late Saturday afternoon and then lost sight of him. Rescue crews searched for two hours before saying it was most likely the man had drowned.

UPDATE: Saturday, July 7, 2012

Teams from Sedgwick County and Wichita Fire Deparments have called off their search for the night for a man believed to have drowned in Lake Afton Saturday. They say it's too dark and they spotted lightning in the area.

Sedgwick County Division Chief Dan Wegner says someone spotted the man floating in the water late Saturday afternoon and then lost sight of him. Rescue crews searched for two hours before saying it was most likely the man had drowned.

Before teams from two fire departments showed up, we spoke to a man who says a group of bystanders jumped in right away to search for the man underwater. Joseph Blaine tells us he and a friend were visiting Lake Afton on vacation when they heard cries for help coming from the water.

“They said there's a man in the water - he's drowning,” Blaine said.

Blaine says he and his friend immediately jumped in the lake and began searching around the spot witnesses last saw the man above water.

“We just kept diving. We weren't going to give up,” Blaine said.

Blaine says a group of ten people searched through the dark, deep waters for about 20 minutes. He says they did the best the could without diving equipment by just feeling along the bottom of the lake.

“You know we'd come up with a mouth full of water because we couldn't hold our breath no longer but you know we tried, we tried our best,” Blaine said.

Fire crews showed up and took over the search. Even with boats, sonar equipment and divers, rescue crews ran into the same difficulties as Blaine and the other volunteers.

“Zero visibility. It makes it really hard. We can't see what we're doing so when the divers go under water. We're going by touch only,” Segwick County Fire Division Chief Dan Wegner said.

After two hours, Wagner says they switched from a rescue mission to a recovery saying most likely, the man had drowned.

“That's, that's tragic. I feel sorry for the family, I know what it's like to lose someone, but not this way,” Blaine said.

Search teams will be back out on Lake Afton tomorrow morning around 7:30 a.m.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

A missing swimmer at Lake Afton is feared to be the victim of a possible drowning. Officials at the scene say around 5 p.m. Saturday someone on the southeast shore of the lake saw a swimmer go underwater and disappear.

The witness called 911 and rescue crews responding to the scene learned that a man had gone missing from a group of lake goers. His name has not been released.

Wichita and Sedgwick County fire departments are using sonar-equipped boats and divers to search the area where the swimmer was last seen. The water is approximately 10 feet deep and extremely murky. Crews are also searching shallow waters nearby for any signs of the man.

Officials on the scene say after searching for two hours they have switched their search efforts from rescue to recovery because, after two hours, they say it's unlikely they'll find the man alive. They suspended their search at sundown and will resume first thing Sunday morning.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
KAKE TV 1500 N. West Street Wichita, KS 67203-1323 (316) 943-4221
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 161682715 - kake.com/a?a=161682715
Gray Television, Inc.