A man went swimming with his friends in Raystown Lake earlier this week and unfortunately never made it back to shore. Troopers say he drowned near the Seven Points area, but this accident didn’t need to happen.
Two Rangers discussed safety protocols that could’ve made a difference in this tragedy. 20-year-old Douggreco Bailey went swimming with his friends in Raystown Lake Wednesday, but unlike his friends, Bailey didn’t make it to shore.
Witnesses say they last saw him swimming to shore. For hours, Volunteer Fire Fighters and First Responders searched for Bailey. Eventually, they found his body. Allen Gwinn, a Park Ranger at Raystown Lake saying: “When you’re swimming in deep water, if you’re jumping off the boat, if you’re trying to go from one place to another and the water is kind of deep, if you can’t stand up, you should wear a life jacket because that life jacket…if you get in trouble, you can’t swim far enough or you have some type of unexpected incident, the life jacket will bring you back up to the surface where we can get emergency services and response to you to help. That would’ve been the case here.”
Earlier this year, another similar tragedy happened at Canoe Creek State Park in Blair County. Both have one thing in common – neither victim wore a life jacket. Park Rangers say that life jacket can save your life. Jenna Conner, another Park Ranger at Raystown Lake saying: “Yep, sometimes it can, it really depends on the situation that occurred, you know, the incident that occurred, where they went down, what they were doing when they experienced when they got in trouble. So yeah, there’s a lot of instances.”
And when an emergency like this happens, you have to act fast. Conner adding: “Just calling in, again, all of that emergency personnel, making sure we get enough people there to help because ultimately, the more bodies on the ground, usually the better.”
And that was exactly what went down last week. Park Ranger Allen Gwinn adding: “In this particular case, when someone’s in trouble, they typically will call 9-1-1, 9-1-1 dispatcher alerts the emergency services, alerts us, and we respond to the incident, and then we team up to provide whatever services are needed in that particular situation to get the, the best care and the quickest care that we can to, to the victim.”
Rangers say this was the only death at the Lake this year.