Last week’s Drury Dam drowning was a combination of volatile circumstances

first_imgby Tracy McCue, Sumner Newscow — For an Oklahoma family, a trip to Drury Dam in Sumner County was a traditional weekend getaway — a place to congregate, swim, fish, camp out. This family had been doing it for many years.But last Friday, their latest trip turned to tragedy when a 16-year-old boy drowned before 6 p.m. after allegedly jumping off of the dam which at the time was a three to four foot precipice into what appeared to be a water hole below that is estimated to be 20 feet deep.Sumner County Sheriff Darren Chambers said due to respect for the family he will not release the name of the boy who died five days ago and was found less than 48 hours later downstream when a passerby discovered his body.It was tremendously tense weekend for the rescue workers from four Sumner County fire agencies, the Sumner County Emergency Management Department, and the Sumner County Sheriff’s Office who were dealing with a missing body and water that was turbulent due to the recent rainstorms.Drury Dam sits midway between South Haven and Caldwell and is part of the Chikaskia River – a major tributary that collects water from various smaller rivers in Harper and Sumner County.Sumner County had more than a half-inch of rain the day before and had accumulated 5.6 inches of rain overall in July alone – not to mention an unusually wet May and June. That made the river more volatile than usual for this time of year.Then came the sweltering late July heat Friday afternoon in which temperatures reached the triple digits. People were naturally flocking to nearby rivers and lakes for some cooling off.Sign at Drury Dam parkDespite a sign at Drury Lake saying “no swimming,” few adhere to the rule.“They all do,” Chambers said about people swimming who are near or at the dam. “You have to remember there is a beach area. This used to be a vacation resort.  “This family was unlike anyone else who goes down there.”The incident occurred around during the twilight hours. Two brothers, a 16 and a 15-year-old, decided they wanted to cross the river over to the south side to get on a tire swing, Chambers said.Trouble is, the water was too turbulent and so the boys decided to come back. Allegedly, according to Chambers, the mother was in the water as well and jumped off the top of the upper level at the dam first landing safely in the water below. The boys would follow.Whatever happened next is unclear, Chambers said, but the 15-year-old boy resurfaced immediately. The 16-year-old did not. The 15-year-old was brought over to the side. He was unconscious and was “Code Blue” which means he was in need of immediate resuscitation.  He was immediately given CPR and was brought back to consciousness.What happened to the second boy is left to speculation.Chambers said according to a local farmer living in the area, there is more than 20 feet of water swirling below the water fall.“He had pictures during the recent drought and it looked to be at least 20 feet below,” Chambers said. “So on Friday you have a tremendous amount of water swirling around down there.”Chambers said the boy’s death could have been a number of things. There could have been an undertow that pushed the boy below and he was unable to escape it. He might have got caught on a tree limb of a fallen tree or some other object and was unable to escape.Eventually, a body that is trapped underneath water becomes more buoyant and will eventually float to the surface like a life jacket. Chambers speculated that is why his body wasn’t found until Sunday afternoon.Rescue workers even had a plane that combed the rivers looking for the body but were unsuccessful. His body may have even resurfaced late at night and then floated downstream, Chambers speculated.“The same thing happened in a drowning in El Dorado that happened about the same time,” Chambers said. “It took them two days to find the body.”Drury Dam in its heyday was a tourist destination. It also was used as a generator to power a mill. There are still cabins there. And it continues to be a popular destination for local campers.Drury Dam as it looked on the day of the drowning.Drury Dam five days later. Notice how much the water has receded in that amount of time.Chambers speculated that the family may have done nothing different than they ever had on their many visits to the dam, but the water last week was much more turbulent than they may have ever seen.Follow us on Twitter. Close Forgot password? Please put in your email: Send me my password! Close message Login This blog post All blog posts Subscribe to this blog post’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Subscribe to this blog’s comments through… RSS Feed Subscribe via email Subscribe Follow the discussion Comment (1) Logging you in… Close Login to IntenseDebate Or create an account Username or Email: Password: Forgot login? Cancel Login Close WordPress.com Username or Email: Password: Lost your password? Cancel Login Dashboard | Edit profile | Logout Logged in as Admin Options Disable comments for this page Save Settings Sort by: Date Rating Last Activity Loading comments… You are about to flag this comment as being inappropriate. Please explain why you are flagging this comment in the text box below and submit your report. The blog admin will be notified. Thank you for your input. 0 Vote up Vote down Vickie Mccroan · 133 weeks ago Im sorry for loss ,I myself my family and my best friend s surly feel compassion for you and yours,my friends and my family all have been there at Drury many,many of times. I know God is there for you and your family,our prayers and thoughts go out for you please have a blessed day Vickie Mccroan and family. Report Reply 0 replies · active 133 weeks ago Post a new comment Enter text right here! Comment as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new comments Comments by IntenseDebate Enter text right here! Reply as a Guest, or login: Login to IntenseDebate Login to WordPress.com Login to Twitter Go back Tweet this comment Connected as (Logout) Email (optional) Not displayed publicly. Name Email Website (optional) Displayed next to your comments. Not displayed publicly. If you have a website, link to it here. Posting anonymously. Tweet this comment Cancel Submit Comment Subscribe to None Replies All new commentslast_img