College student drowns at Turner Falls, pandemic puts certification of new lifeguards on hold

Sierra Rains | | 5:39 pm CDT May 11, 2020

A college student from Wichita Falls, Texas reportedly drowned at Turner Falls Park over the weekend.

The victim, identified as 26-year-old Naga Subash Moturu, was recovered from the Blue Hole Swimming area at around 7:51 p.m. on May 10. According to a press release from the city of Davis, Moturu was visiting the park with friends who stated that he could not swim.

An officer with the Davis Police Department and an EMT stationed in the park were reportedly in the water searching for the victim within three minutes of receiving a call regarding a possible drowning at 5:08 p.m.

Other officers from DPD, park staff and OHP troopers cleared the swimming area of all persons. After searching the water for twenty minutes the effort changed from a rescue to a recovery.

The Chickasaw Lighthorse Police Department Dive Team arrived on scene at approximately 7:14 p.m. to aid in the recovery of the victim.

The incident is the first drowning at Turner Falls in 2020. After four reported drownings in 2019 several citizens called for increased safety measures at the park.

Susan Suther, the public information officer for the city of Davis, said the safety of park visitors is paramount to the city and lifeguards have been hired for the 2020 season.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Suther said they are currently unable to certify the new employees. At this time swimming at the park is still considered at your own risk. Children under 12 years old are required to wear a life vest.

Other agencies that helped assist in the search and recovery of the drowning victim include the Davis Fire Department, Murray County EMS and Oklahoma Medical Examiner Personnel.

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