SEDGWICK COUNTY, Kan. (KSNW) – Officials have identified the man who died after drowning at Lake Afton as 21-year-old Javon C. Barber of Wichita.
After a two and a half hour search, fire officials located his body just before midnight Saturday.
Division Chief Ray Hensley with the Sedgwick County Fire Department says units received a call around 9:20 p.m. about a possible drowning at Lake Afton. They responded to the area, where he says, the victim had last been seen.
Rescue teams from Wichita and Sedgwick County Fire Departments immediately began their search and rescue process.
“We had Wichita Fire Department Rescue Team members working off of a boat, approximately a 100 yards off shore searching, and Sedgwick County Fire Department divers were in the water, doing shore line patterns,” said Hensley.
Hensley says they were able to locate the victim’s body about 30 to 50 meters from the shore.
“It was my understanding that they were swimming out to a buoy, a couple of people, and they decided to turn around and come back. They didn’t think they would make it, and on their way back, he started struggling, and he went under water,” said Hensley.
Hensley spoke about the challenges this kind of search at night poses for rescue crews.
“Night time, it makes it a lot more difficult, understanding that the divers are in water where they can’t see, so the divers are doing a lot of searching by touch,” said Hensley.