A day on the lake with friends turned tragic Saturday after a Nashville man drowned while swimming at the Sandbar area of Rock Island State Park.
The man, Adrian Joel Alvarez Moreno, 26, went under the surface and never came back up as he and several others were swimming in the fairly calm waters of the popular swimming hole.
The incident happened Saturday afternoon about 30 feet away from the sandy shore where numerous people were enjoying relief on the muggy day. Witnesses say Moreno and friends were swimming from the Sandbar to the cliff face across the lake and were making their return trip when the victim started struggling and went under. Park officials caution against making the swim since it is a deceptively long swim.
Park officials and Rescue Squad members began searching the immediate area where the victim was last seen. He was located a couple of hours later, about 20 feet downstream from where he went under. The place where he went under was about 25 feet deep and was only a few feet from a shallow outcropping.
State park officials are urging visitors to use extreme caution when getting into the water, noting that for safety sake a floatation device should be brought along anytime you plan to swim. It is also suggested that swimmers in the Rock Island area be aware of scheduled water releases from Great Falls Dam which can cause a swift rise in water level and current.
While the Sandbar is the main designated swimming hole in the park, there is no longer a life guard present.