A 34-year-old man died of his injuries after diving from an embankment into the shallow end of Lake Gladewater in Texas. The embankment was 40 feet (12m) up, but the water was only 4 foot (1.2m) deep. Local police report that numerous witnesses saw him jump headfirst into the water and tried to help him, and that alcohol might have been a factor.
On Saturday July 1, 2023, at approximately 1620hrs, Gladewater dispatch received a 911 call to respond to the Gladewater Lake located at 1602 Lakeshore Dr. in reference to an unresponsive male subject. Emergency services were dispatched and when they arrived, started life saving measures. Approximately 7 witnesses stated to the first responders that a male subject who was 34 years of age, dove headfirst from an embankment approximately 40 feet high into a pool of water that was approximately 4 feet deep.
The location of this was off the main lake at an area where people go and swim that is surrounded by tall embankments, shallow water, and a rocky bottom. Witnesses that observed the victim dive into the water helped pull him from the water and began to render aid. Gladewater Fire, Christus EMS and Gladewater Police worked diligently to resuscitate the victim, but he succumbed to his injuries due to the severity. The initial investigation revealed that alcohol may have been a contributing factor in this unfortunate incident. Upshur County Justice of the Peace Wyone Manes was notified, and she responded and held the inquest. Next of kin of the victim has been notified by the Gladewater Police Department.
The 481-acre Lake Gladewater is about150 miles east of Fort Worth.
Shallow water dive injuries are one of the top causes of spinal paralysis and drownings. Water must be 10-12ft deep at minimum to dive into it, say experts.
Dr. Bohinski urges parents, teachers, camp counselors, and coaches to impress upon young people the hazards of diving into shallow water. He believes that diving should be performed in water that is at least 10- to 12-feet deep. Swimmers and divers should enter the water feet first to determine depth. The ThinkFirst National Injury Prevention Foundation urges swimmers never to dive into an above-ground pool.
According to the American Association of Neurological Surgeons, an estimated 11,000 spinal cord injuries occur in the United States each year. Males suffer 81.2 percent of these injuries. Diving is the fourth leading cause of spinal cord injury among males and the fifth leading cause among females.
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