Drowning in Hart County Ruled Accidental Drowning

June 13, 2013

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia


Autopsy results are back on the Hartwell man who died while swimming in Lake Hartwell Saturday.

54-year old Dennis Baker, of the Reed Creek Community in Hartwell died around 7:30p last Saturday evening while swimming with friends at the old Reed Creek Boat Ramp.

Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said he received the autopsy results back Monday.

“The autopsy results revealed it was an accidental drowning,” Hart County Sheriff Mike Cleveland said. “We thought it might have been a heart attack or fatigue but it wasn’t.”

Cleveland said Baker was out with friends Saturday fishing and swimming.

He said Baker was no stranger to Hartwell Lake and had lived in the Reed Creek area all of his life.

“He had lived about two miles from where he died,” Cleveland said. “And he had lived there all of his life. He had been out there all day with his friends, fishing and swimming.”

Friends pulled his body from the water and called 911, but the county coroner pronounced him dead at the scene.

According to Georgia DNR law enforcement officer Craig Fulgum, even if you are skilled swimmer, you should always wear a life jacket when in the lake and have someone with you at all times.