Stepherman Sutton of Tallahassee was swimming with friends at Shell Point Beach when he drowned in a deep channel of water. The Wakulla County Sheriff's Office is calling it a tragic accident. Officials say Sutton was swimming too close to the channel during a low tide.
Major Maurice Langston is trying to make sense of a Labor Day tragedy. He says 11-year-old Stepherman Sutton was swimming between two channel markers where the water makes a sudden drop. The worst part, he says the children probably never knew the channel was there.
A gentleman supervising the kids immediately called 9-1-1. Volunteers scoured the water, but as hours passed by the outlook was grim. At Shell Point Beach there are no lifeguards in sight and no signs labeling deep channels, only wooden posts visible to the eye. To visitors with little water knowledge they carry little meaning.
Residents in Oyster Bay say swimming ropes are desperately needed at their public beach and they plan on taking this issue to the Wakulla County commissioners soon. Major Langston says the problem they run in to is most folks around here utilizing the beach know the water like the back of their hand, but other people have to be more aware of the surroundings.