An Axton man drowned shortly after launching a boat from the Penhook Boat Access Facility on Feb. 12.
Richard Haynes III, 35, and another man were launching a boat to go fishing just before 11 a.m. While the other man, who was not identified, was parking the vehicle and boat trailer, Haynes fell out of the boat, according to Paige Pearson, DWR’s public outreach officer.
The boat continued drifting as Haynes tried to climb aboard. Haynes then began swimming to the shore, and a nearby onlooker noticed he was struggling. The onlooker jumped in to help him, Pearson said.
Two others then threw a life jacket into the water with a rope tied to it to help Haynes and the rescuer get to shore faster, Pearson said. Haynes was not wearing a life jacket when he fell into the water.
Once back on shore, crews from Cool Branch Fire and Rescue Squad, Glade Hill Fire and Rescue Squad, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office and DWR, who had responded, began CPR on Haynes. He died at the scene, Pearson said.
“We want to thank the kind citizens who were at the Penhook boat ramp that day for trying to save Mr. Haynes life and want to send our condolences out to his family and friends,” Pearson said. “Please use this as a reminder to always wear a life jacket. It will save your life.”