South Carolina

Man drowned swimming in one of South Carolina’s deadliest bodies of water, coroner says

A South Carolina coroner confirmed a man who died while swimming drowned.
A South Carolina coroner confirmed a man who died while swimming drowned. jbell@thesunnews.com

A man drowned while swimming in one of South Carolina’s deadliest bodies of water, the Oconee County Coroner’s Office said.

Robert “Bobby” McCombs disappeared while swimming in Lake Keowee July 26, Coroner Karl Addis said in a news release.

The 63-year-old Easley resident was boating on the lake with family, who said he jumped into the water to go swimming, according to the news release.

After diving into the Upstate lake at about 3:45 p.m., McCombs briefly resurfaced and swam toward the boat before he disappeared under the water, Addis said. McCombs’ family said he vanished without a struggle, according to the coroner.

Following a multi-day search, his body was recovered Saturday afternoon by divers in 50-foot deep water, according to the news release.

An autopsy on Monday confirmed drowning was McCombs’ cause of death, Addis said.

The coroner’s office found no external injuries on McComb.

In 2018, the coroner’s office said at least 32 people have died in Lake Keowee over the past 25 years, and 17 of those fatalities were at Fall Creek Landing, the “popular swimming and boating area that features a rock outcropping used for jumping in the lake,” the Greenville News reported.

Addis suggested any swimmers of “limited or non-existent” capability should wear “a flotation device” while visiting Fall Creek Landing, according to the newspaper.

On July 2, a 27-year-old Greenville man drowned while swimming after a water bottle in an area of Leake Keowee known as “The Rock,” The State reported.

A 19-year-old drowned while swimming with friends in the area in April, The State reported.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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