OMSP drowning victim named by coroner

Published 10:10 pm Thursday, July 4, 2024

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By NOAH WORTHAM | Managing Editor

PELHAM – Jason Beck, 47, of Wellington has been identified as the swimmer who drowned at Oak Mountain State Park ahead of the annual Fire on the Water event on Wednesday, July 3.

Shelby County Coroner Lina Evans confirmed the identity of the victim on Thursday July 4. According to Evans, it appears that Beck was trying to swim a distance and started cramping before going under the water.

“SCCO sends our condolences out to his family in this tragic and sad time,” Evans said.

Fire on the Water takes place each year at OMSP to celebrate the Fourth of July and this incident 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 two other people.

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

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.