FRITCH, Texas – A 34-year-old drowned Sunday in the swimming area of Spring Canyon in Lake Meredith National Recreation Area, according to the National Park Service.
Hamsim Mutabasi, a resident of nearby Cactus, had gone out to Spring Canyon with friends and coworkers that evening for recreation, the NPS said. Hamsim was the only person in his group that went into the water for a swim.
By about 5:30 p.m. local time, however, his friends were no longer able to see him in the swimming area. They saw that his shoes were still at the water’s edge, where he had entered for his swim.
The group called 911 to alert the NPS, who responded with personnel and resources. Officials from Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Texas Department of Public Safety, Hutchinson County Sheriff’s Department, Hutchinson County Emergency Services Unit, Fritch Fire, and Borger Fire also responded.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Game Wardens used sonar on their boat to further narrow the search area, and NPS divers searched the concentrated areas.
Mutabasi’s body was discovered about 9:26 p.m. local time, according to the NPS. They noted that this was the second water-related fatality at Lake Meredith National Recreation Area this year.
Eric Smith, the Lake Meredith National Recreation Area superintendent, reminded all park visitors to be aware of the dangers of recreating in and around water. Officials noted that drowning can happen quickly, and the waters do not have to be deep to pose a danger.