South Carolina

Another holiday has fatal ending after man drowns in one of SC’s deadliest lakes, coroner says

This file photo shows South Carolina’s 18,372-acre Lake Keowee, where an Easley man drowned Labor Day.
This file photo shows South Carolina’s 18,372-acre Lake Keowee, where an Easley man drowned Labor Day. Charlotte Observer

A South Carolina man drowned after jumping from a boat on Lake Keowee Labor Day evening, according to the coroner’s office.

This is not the first holiday this year that a man has died in the lake.

Jody Levi Black jumped off his boat just after 5:30 p.m. Monday and never resurfaced, according to Oconee County Coroner Karl E. Addis. The 47-year-old Easley man’s body “was recovered at approximately 6:10 p.m.” Addis reported.

After being taken to an area hospital, Black was “pronounced dead at 7:14 p.m.,” per the coroner’s office.

Black jumped off his boat in a cove near the 100-foot high Fall Creek Falls, according to Addis. Oconee County Fire Chief Charles V. King said that area is also known as the “Party Cove” waterfall, foxcarolina.com reported.

When Black failed to resurface, calls were made to 911 within 5 minutes, according to Addis.

Rescue crews recovered Black’s body in water that was estimated to be 28-feet deep, the coroner’s office said.

This is in the proximity of Fall Creek Landing, Addis said. That is one of the most dangerous bodies of water in S.C.

In July, the coroner’s office said at least 32 people have died in Lake Keowee over the past 25 years, and 17 of those fatalities were at the “popular swimming and boating area that features a rock outcropping used for jumping in the lake,” the Greenville News reported.

Three people died in Lake Keowee in 2017, including a 15-year-old Byrnes High School student, The State previously reported.

This is at least the second fatality reported in Fall Creek Landing this summer, after 21-year-old Vikash K. Patel died there on the Fourth of July, according to the Greenville News.

Addis determined that Black’s death was an accidental drowning, and no autopsy will be performed.

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is investigating the drowning.

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