Dive and Rescue Teams Recover Apparent Drowning Victim's Body

Dive and Rescue Teams Recover Apparent Drowning Victim's Body
By: Lauren Keith

Jackson County, IL  -- Late Wednesday afternoon, rescuers found the body of 47 year old Barry Lang of Murphysboro. The recovery ended a two-day search on Kinkaid Lake, in Jackson County.

Search crews found Lang's body about 50 yards away from the spot, where he reportedly fell off his boat and into the water. Authorities tell Heartland News, Lang was with his fiance at the time, and friends tell us, Barry loved boating at Kinkaid Lake.

They say, he would often get out on the water a few times a week, but rescue crews wish he would have done that while wearing a lifejacket. "I know its cumbersome, but it's much easier than going to a funeral," says Rend Lake Divemaster Ron Clark.

Once it warms up outside, Divemaster Ron Clark claims he tenses up, knowing he may be called out to head up the Rend Lake search and rescue team, like he did these last few days, as he and others searched for an apparent drowning victim.

Clark claims rescue and recovery missions take a toll on him and his crews. “Everybody needs to be careful....lifejackets, lifejackets, lifejackets."

Jackson County authorities say, the victim couldn't swim at the time, and he apparently lost his balance while standing on his boat, and then fell into the water. The sheriff's department also claims the victim's fiance also tried to rescue Lang, but couldn't.

Meanwhile, Clark says his crews found Lang in what they consider a short amount of time, which comforts them, especially since, this is only the beginning of a long boating season ahead. "We got this taken care of quickly, we got out there, and recovered, “ claims Clark .

Boaters, like Patrick Work, remain shocked that someone has already apparently drowned, just as many water enthusiasts like him, have just started getting out on the lake regularly. "Well, it's scary. We're out here two or three times a week at a minimum and it just makes you think, every time you're out on the lake to be safe, do what you can to have fun, but be safe, “ says Work.

Patrick Work says he was actually on the lake, about eleven months ago, when another person drowned near the same spot as Barry Lang apparently did. In last May's case, the man also was standing on the back of his boat, but he slipped and hit his head, causing him to fall into the water.

Meanwhile, an official investigation continues into Barry Lang’s death.

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Water-Related Injuries Facts
  • In 2000, there were 3,281 unintentional drownings in the United States, averaging nine people per day. This does not include drownings in boating-related incidents. 
  • For every child who drowns, three receive emergency department care for non-fatal submersion injuries.
  • More than 40% of these children require hospitalization. Nonfatal incidents can cause brain damage that result in long-term disabilities ranging from memory problems and learning disabilities to the permanent loss of basic functioning.
  • In 2001, males accounted for 78% of drownings in the United States.
  • During 2000–2001, the overall age-adjusted drowning rate for African Americans was 1.4 times higher than for Whites.

    Source:  CDC