Swimmer drowns at Oak Mountain State Park ahead of Fourth of July celebration

Published 7:18 pm Wednesday, July 3, 2024

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PELHAM – A swimmer has drowned at Oak Mountain State Park ahead of the annual Fire on the Water on Wednesday, July 3.

The annual event takes place each year at the park to celebrate the Fourth of July and it marks the second year in a row that a water-related death has occurred.

Ahead of Wednesday’s fireworks show, Pelham Fire Department and Police Department responded along with OMSP Park Rangers to a possible drowning at approximately 3 p.m.

Pelham Fire Department’s dive team then entered the water to try and assist with searching for a swimmer in distress last seen swimming near the dam at the park with.

After an extensive search, PFD recovered the missing swimmer’s body at 4:21 p.m.

The identity of the person has not been disclosed.

A year ago on July 3, 2023, a similar situation occurred as a man eventually died at the hospital after struggling to swim near the beach at Oak Mountain State Park.

Jeremy Bartalez passed away after struggling for several minutes under water before the dive team could enter the lake to attempt a rescue. He was resuscitated on scene before being transferred to the hospital where he later passed away.

The investigation into this year’s drowning death is ongoing and more details will be shared when made available.