Authorities identify Valdosta man pulled from Cherry Lake

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 4, 2018

CHERRY LAKE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Madison County Sheriff's Office has identified the man whose body was found after he went under the water in Cherry Lake and did not resurface.

Chief Deputy Epp Richardson says the man is 49-year-old Kenneth Knowles, of Valdosta.

Deputies say Knowles was on a boat with his brother at Cherry Lake in Madison County on Sunday when they stopped to go swimming approximately 200 to 250 yards from the shore.

Knowles reportedly became stressed and went under the water without resurfacing. Deputies say Knowles' brother attempted to save him but was unsuccessful.

The first 911 call came in to the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 6:14 p.m.

Deputies and first responders searched the area where Knowles was last seen and continued searching into the night, but the effort was ultimately suspended for safety concerns.

The area was marked and recovery efforts resumed the following morning at 6 a.m. with assistance from the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team and officers from the Florida Wildlife Commission equipped with underwater sonar equipment.

At approximately 11 a.m. Monday, Knowles' body was located using the sonar equipment and recovered by divers approximately 50 yards from where he went under.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 3, 2018

CHERRY LAKE, Fla. (WCTV) -- Authorities say they have recovered the body of a man who went under in Cherry Lake in Madison County and did not resurface.

The Madison County's Sheriff's Office said the body of a 49-year-old black male from Valdosta was found at the lake Monday morning. Authorities are not releasing his identity until family members have been notified.

Officials said the call came in around 6:15 p.m. Sunday from a member of the man's family.

"It was family that was enjoying a day at the lake, decided to go swimming off the boat," said Chief Deputy Epp Richardson with the Madison County Sheriff's Office. "One of them got into trouble, unfortunately he did not survive."

Rescue efforts went late into Sunday night and resumed around 6:00 a.m. Monday. The body was found around 11:15 a.m.

Officials closed Cherry Lake Beach and the boat launch during the search, but they were reopened to the public Monday afternoon.

Dive teams from the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission assisted MCSO in the search.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
September 2, 2018

CHERRY LAKE, Fla. (WCTV) -- The Madison County Sheriff’s Office responded on Sunday to reports of a man who reportedly went under in Cherry Lake and did not come back up.

MCSO says crews were not able to immediately recover the man, and rescue efforts were suspended late Sunday night due to safety concerns. Recovery efforts will resume Monday morning at daylight.

The Cherry Lake Public Beach and Boat Ramp will be closed until further notice, and boating on the lake will be restricted as teams continue to search the area. MCSO is asking people to refrain from boating activities until recovery can be completed.

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