Blewett Falls drowning victim identified

By William R. Toler -

LILESVILLE — The name of last week’s drowning victim at Blewett Falls has been released.

According to Rodney Diggs, chief of Anson County Emergency Services, 26-year-old Hernandez Salinas Carlos Miguel died while swimming near the Blewett Falls Lake boat landing on the Pee Dee River Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Diggs said Miguel’s driver’s license showed he his was from Laurel Hill in Scotland County.

“A couple of guys were swimming and just became overwhelmed and tired, and one of them went under,” he explained last week. “The other called for help.”

Diggs said that the call came in around 4:50 p.m. and Miguel’s body was recovered just before 6 p.m.

The Anson County Sheriff’s Office, Anson County Emergency Management, Anson County Rescue Squad, Lilesvile Volunteer Fire Department responded to the call. Richmond County’s Cordova Fire and Rescue was dispatched for mutual aid.

Entry to the landing was blocked by the sheriff’s office during search and recovery efforts.

A member of the Anson County Rescue Squad, who is also a diver, helped “accelerate the recovery,” according to Diggs.

“The victim’s friend told us where he went down, so the diver went down and found the body,” he said.

This is the second drowning at Blewett Falls this year — and the second victim from Scotland County.

On June 12, Harold Calvin Reese, 64 — a Hamlet native then living in Laurinburg — drowned while swimming in the lake. He had only been swimming for about five minutes when he went into distress, according to Diggs.

“His wife said he jumped in the water and he was going to swim, but the current got strong and he started — he jumped off a pontoon — and he started struggling, so she threw a life jacket and he couldn’t get to it,” reported the person who made the call to 911.

Diggs said conditions at the site of last Tuesday’s drowning were “normal,” and he did not believe there were any unusually strong currents involved.

Reach William R. Toler at 910-817-2675 and follow him on Twitter @William_r_Toler.

By William R. Toler

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