Drowning Dangers in Suwannee County

Law enforcement wants to get the word out about the dangers of Telford Spring.

It's not snakes or alligators that cause the biggest threat in the waters of Telford Spring in Suwannee County, but the unseen.

"All of a sudden, what's three feet deep drops to 12 feet deep in one extra step. Once they go down in the dark water, there's no way to see them to help them,” warns Suwannee County Sheriff Tony Cameron.

Since the beginning of August, two children have drowned in Telford Spring.

A four-year-old and a 17-year-old; in both cases, the sheriff says the victims apparently stepped into deep water.

Recent heavy rains have flooded the usually clear water.

"This year it's really been exceptional because the river has been up so high that all the springs have stayed dark,” says Camaron.

Telford Spring is private property. The sheriff says there have been several attempts in the past to keep the public out.

"I don't think it's too much they can do about it. Kids are looking for cool water to swim in. It's not too many places for them to swim for free,” says Suwannee County resident Nick Cioffe.

The sheriff says alcohol is also a big problem in the area.

Although he can't govern the private spring, he says he can give these words of caution to swimmers, "Please wear a life vest and make sure that you have your children secure."

Words, he says, that can save lives.