CHARLOTTE, N.C. (The Charlotte Observer) - A Clemson veterinarian’s seemingly innocent attempt at finding his lost sunglasses on the bottom of Lake Keowee cost him his life, according Oconee County Coroner’s Office.
Derek E. Lindsey, 47, of Seneca, died from “complications of drowning” just before 11 a.m. Thursday at Greenville Memorial Hospital, according to a press release from Coroner Karl Addis.
Lindsey was pronounced dead after nearly a week in a hospital intensive care unit, Addis said.
“During a swimming outing last Saturday near his home, Dr. Lindsey was attempting to locate some missing sunglasses,” said the release. “He went underwater to search for the sunglasses and did not resurface. He was found minutes later by a neighbor and pulled from the water.”
The incident, which has been classified as an “accidental death,” occurred about 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Addis said in the release. Officials did not release the exact part of the lake where Lindsey was diving.
Lindsey worked at Clemson Animal Hospital in Clemson, according to a Facebook post by the clinic.
“It is with our deepest sorrow that we must inform our CAH family of the death of our beloved friend, Dr Derek Lindsey,” said the post.
“The family asks for privacy and respect during this difficult time. Please pray for peace for the family while they make arrangements for their loved one.”
A 2018 report in The State named Lake Keowee in Oconee County as one of the “deadliest” recreation spots in the state, with 32 fatalities in 25 years. Seventeen of the deaths were at Fall Creek Landing, “a popular swimming and boating area that features a rock outcropping used for jumping in the lake,” said The State.