LUBBOCK, Texas — Lubbock Game Wardens released new details after a 40-year-old man drowned at Buffalo Springs Lake Sunday. It was the first drowning at the lake in nearly two years.
Lt. Aaron Sims, the Lubbock District game Warden, said it started as a normal, but busy, weekend at the lake.
“Around 4 o’clock, the call came in that the individual was on an innertube on the no-wake side—the west side—of the lake, and at some point, the individual fell off,” Sims said.
Witnesses told officials they saw the victim had been separated from his innertube about 50 feet from shore and said he was struggling to swim and make his way back to his float when he went under and did not come back up.
Witnesses also said he did not have a life jacket on.
“Other witnesses that were near tried to go in the water to save that individual,” Sims said. “But he ended up going under the water, and he succumbed to the water and drowned.”
Officials said they were too late to save the man, and the incident turned into a recovery mission.
“We were able to contact the Lubbock Rescue Dive Team, and they have sonar equipment, so it was a collaborative effort between Buffalo Springs, the Game Wardens and Lubbock Fire and Rescue,” Sims said.
When Lubbock Divers arrived on the scene, they used sonar equipment to locate and recover the body at approximately 7:00 p.m.
Officials said water was 12-13 feet deep where the body was found.
“Trying to secure the area to make the recovery as fast as possible—that’s one of those things you want to gain closure for the family. Nothing’s going to make it better, but you want to get that closure as fast as you can,” Sims said.
Medical examiners performed an autopsy on the body but have not yet announced if drugs or alcohol were involved in the cause of death.
No matter what your swimming abilities are, Sims said it is important to always be prepared for the worst.