Swimming Safety Tips
Authorities have recovered a Madison County teenager who disappeared while swimming with friends in Herrington Lake.
Last week, the body of Emanuel “Manny” Prewitt, 17, a senior at Madison Central High School in Richmond, was recovered. Prewitt was swimming with friends near Gwinn Island on Wednesday, June 10, according to the Danville Advocate-Messenger.
Search and rescue teams from Boyle, Garrard and Mercer counties started looking for Prewitt that day.
The search wound up lasting for six days, according to the Advocate. Search teams were confounded by the lake’s depth. Herrington is the deepest lake in Kentucky, reaching 249 feet at its lowest points.
According to the Advocate, Prewitt’s body was recovered approximately 20 feet from where he went missing. He was entangled in debris at 76 feet deep.
Prewitt was found by a remotely operated submersible rover belonging to Christian Aid Ministries.
In addition, the Burgin Fire Department, the Camp Dick Fire Department, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and the Boyle County Sheriff’s Office took part in the search.
A private funeral has been scheduled for Prewitt in Richmond on Friday.
Authorities are reminding the public to wear a life jacket while swimming in Herrington Lake.
Most community pools remain closed. With the ongoing pandemic, the lake is one of the few areas where people can go and have fun. But they need to stay safe. Here are some swimming safety tips, courtesy of the Red Cross.
- Swim in designated areas supervised by lifeguards.
- Always swim with a buddy; do not allow anyone to swim alone.
- Never leave a young child unattended near water and do not trust a child’s life to another child; teach children to always ask permission to go near water.
- Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jackets around water, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
- Maintain constant supervision.
- Make sure everyone in your family learns to swim well. Enroll in age-appropriate Red Cross water orientation and learn-to-swim courses.
- If you have a pool, secure it with appropriate barriers. Many children who drown in home pools were out of sight for less than five minutes and in the care of one or both parents at the time.
- Avoid distractions when supervising children around water.
- If a child is missing, check the water first. Seconds count in preventing death or disability.
- Have appropriate equipment, such as reaching or throwing equipment, a cell phone, life jackets and a first aid kit.
- Know how and when to call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Protect your skin. Limit the amount of direct sunlight you receive between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. and wear sunscreen with a protection factor of at least 15.
- Drink plenty of water regularly, even if you’re not thirsty. Avoid drinks with alcohol or caffeine in them.
- Enroll in Red Cross home pool safety, water safety, first aid and CPR/AED courses to learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies. For more, visit www.redcross.org.
Mercer Area Family Education and Wellness offers swimming lessons. Call 734-9622.