The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office is investigating the death of a 23-year-old man who drowned in Sam's Pond in Syracuse on Tuesday while swimming with his friends.
The Sheriff's Office received a 911 call at about 1:46 p.m. Tuesday reporting that a male resident, later identified as Joaquin Vazquez Hernandez, 23, of Syracuse, had gone underwater and not resurfaced while swimming with friends at Sam's Pond, according to a news release from Hamilton County Sheriff Mike Wilson.
Vazquez Hernandez's friends told police that Vazquez Hernandez had waded out too far into the pond and was unable to swim, Wilson said. When Vazquez Hernandez went underwater, one of his friends reportedly swam out to try and reach him, but was unsuccessful, Wilson said.
The sheriff said no alcohol or drugs are suspected to be involved in the incident.
The pond, owned by the City of Syracuse and used by locals for fishing and swimming, has a sharp drop-off and gets deep very quickly, Wilson said. Locals are allowed to swim in the pond, though there is no lifeguard on duty, he said.
Wilson said he arrived on the scene shortly after the 911 call and called local fire and EMS responders to the area. Firefighters drove a boat out on the pond, but could not see Vazquez Hernandez in the water, Wilson said.
Wilson said officers waded into the pond up to their waists but could not go further because of the drop-off.
Wilson said he called the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Toutrism, which called Scuba Ventures Safety Services, of Liberal, to the scene. Both were stationed out of town and took time to arrive to Syracuse, Wilson said.
The KDWPT brought boats to the scene and located Vazquez Hernandez with sonar equipment, according to a release. The young man's body was recovered by Scuba Ventures at approximately 5:53 p.m.
The case is still under investigation by the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and Vazquez Hernandez's body will soon undergo an autopsy in Garden City, Wilson said.