A man drowned after the canoe he was in overturned in Gem Lakes on Tuesday, according to the Aiken Department of Public Safety.
Aiken County Coroner Tim Carlton reported the victim has been identified as 74-year-old William Richardson of Aiken
Officers were called to Gem Lakes at about 3:20 p.m.
According to Sgt. Jennifer Bickel, a canoe carrying two men who were fishing tipped over when one of the men reached over to get the anchor. Both fishermen fell into the water, and the other man attempted to help the victim but was unable to pull him from the lake.
“We responded and found one male individual on the bank, and he advised officers who arrived on scene that there was another individual in the water,” Bickel said, adding that the canoe was in the middle of the water and drifting.
Two Aiken Public Safety officers pulled the victim out of the water, employed a defibrillator on the victim and began CPR until EMS arrived. EMS took over, continuing compressions and breathing until the victim was loaded into the ambulance and taken to Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
“It appears to be accidental, but we're still investigating to determine the cause and the exact nature of what occurred,” Bickel said.
The other man was not injured.
Life jackets were in the canoe but neither man was wearing them, according to Carlton.
Mahoney later added that the investigation has been turned over the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
An autopsy is scheduled today in Newberry.
Teddy Kulmala covers the crime and courts beat for the Aiken Standard and has been with the newspaper since August 2012. He is a native of Williston and majored in communication studies at Clemson University.