A 32-year-old man and a 15-year-old girl died overnight last Friday, drowning in a swimming hole in the western portion of Macon County.
The incident occurred on Clifty Road, at a location known to many as the Shiloh swimming hole (which is located where two creeks merge).
The bodies of Lopez Gomez Gaudencio and Lorena Orduna Martinez were recovered by rescue personnel in the water.
Area emergency responders received a call at approximately 11:40 on Thursday night, and Macon County Sheriff’s Department deputy Austin Cliburn was the first on the scene, along with a man who was in the area.
John David — the captain of the West Macon Rescue Squad and a constable for districts 5 and 6 in the county — arrived next, followed by six others from the West Macon Rescue Squad.
“Austin Cliburn was in the water trying to find them,” David said. “(We) shined the light on the water. I dove into the water and recovered the female. A couple of other deputies showed up and started administering CPR. Macon County EMS (Emergency Medical Services) showed up and took over after that.”
Martinez was located and pulled out of the water less than 10 minutes after David arrived on the scene.
Gaudencio was not immediately found, but after some of the first responders left in order to bring back a underwater body recovery drag, he was located and pulled from the water.
Neither individual could be resuscitated.
There was a third individual there with the two individuals who drowned, an adult female who called 911 — though she had to walk along the roadway to call due to limited cell-phone service in that area — after Gaudencio was in trouble in the water.
It was believed that Martinez may have been trying to help Gaudencio out of the water.
None of the individuals were believed to have been able to swim, and David indicated that the swimming hole may have been deeper than the individuals anticipated.
“You would have never expected this one area to be that deep,” David said.
In addition to the West Macon Rescue Squad, the Macon County Sheriff’s Department and Macon County EMS, approximately 15 members of the Macon County Rescue Squad were there to assist as well.
“I’m very happy with dispatch,” David said. “Dispatch got it all together.
“I’m happy with the teamwork between the two squads. Cliburn went above and beyond. He was the first one in the water. It was teamwork between the squads and the sheriff’s department.”
Martinez was entering her sophomore year at Macon County High School. A prayer vigil for her friends and family was held on Saturday evening outside of the school.