UPDATE: Child drowned on Smith Lake - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

UPDATE: Child drowned on Smith Lake

Posted: Updated:
Update:

Winston County, AL - A tragedy on Smith Lake Sunday.
A 7-year-old child, from Arley, drowned in the remote Cable Crossing" area near County Road 12.

The Winston County Sheriff says Joseph Alexander and his family were camping on the lake. The child went into the water while the adults were packing up.

"Simple things can happen quick and this water is very deep."

Winston County Sheriff Rick Harris says 7-year-old Joseph Alexander was not wearing a life jacket when he went into the lake.
He was wading in shallow water before slipping into a deep spot.

"He just got out there not seeing the ledge in the water and stepped off the ledge. When he did that water immediately went over his head. Water is definitely unforgiving to a non-swimmer."

Harris says the child's stepfather and a friend then pulled Joseph out of the water.

"The parents and a guest here with him made attempts to revive him, but it was unsuccessful. They then drove to Arley to meet with rescuers."

One camper.. familiar with the Cable Crossing area.. says the terrain can be harsh.

Mike Colwell says, "It's just bluffs, a lot of people fish off the bluffs when the water is low"

Sheriff Harris says. "These things will happen. These are accidents. The only way to prevent that is to make sure your child and you are wearing the proper flotation device."

Joseph Alexander attended Curry Elementary. We reached out to his principal who told us Joseph was a quiet student who made good grades. He has a younger brother going into First Grade.

This is the first drowning on Smith Lake this year.
One person drowned last year.


UPDATE:
Joseph Alexander, 7, died in the shallow waters of "Cable Crossing" around lunchtime, according to the Winston County Sheriff.  We're told he and some other children were in the shallow area, but Alexander stepped off into the deeper water.  Sheriff Rick Harris says the child did not know how to swim. 

The family is from Arley.  We're told the parents recovered their sons body quickly.  Sheriff Harris says Alexander had just finished first grade at Curry Elementary School.

The drowning has been determined to be accidental.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++


Winston County Sheriff's deputies were involved in a water rescue, with a devastating outcome for one family.  A seven year-old boy drowned in Smith Lake Sunday morning around 11:00.  Alabama Marine Police confirm the family was camping on the lake.  While the adults were packing up the campground, the little boy ventured into the water, according to marine police.

We're told he was not wearing a life jacket.  The child drowned in the lake, but police say his body was quickly recovered.
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