• Madison County Sheriffs Office

Update: Drowning at Cherry Lake


Major David Harper of the Madison County Sheriff’s Office reports that on Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 6:14 p.m., the Madison County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting that an adult male swimmer in Cherry Lake became stressed and went under water and did not return to the surface. Multiple deputies responded to the lake and deployed a boat immediately beginning search efforts. Deputies learned that two brothers, both adults, were riding in a boat on the southern side of the lake when they stopped to swim approximately 200 – 250 yards from the shore. The victim (identified as 49-year-old Kenneth Knowles of Valdosta, Georgia) became stressed and went under without resurfacing. The victim’s brother attempted to assist him but was unsuccessful. Deputies continued to search the area where Knowles was reportedly last seen. The search continued into the night but was ultimately suspended for safety concerns of the deputies and first responders. The area was marked and recovery efforts resumed the following morning at 6 a.m. with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and officers from the Florida Wildlife Commission equipped with under water sonar equipment. At approximately 11:00 a.m. the body of Kenneth Knowles was located using the sonar equipment and recovered by divers approximately 50 yards of where he went under.


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