A young man drowned in a lake while desperately searching for his missing dog, said eyewitnesses.
The man, in his 20s, was seen ‘struggling in the water and shouting for help’ at Cotswold Water Park, Gloucestershire, yesterday afternoon.
Two men jumped into the water to save him and swam to where he was trying to swim ‘around 50 metres from the bank’, said eyewitness Agnes Baron.
But their efforts were in vain after they couldn’t find him under the water, before staff went out in power boats to continue the search.
Emergency services, including the National Police Air Service, were called in at around 1.40pm.
Their underwater search teams worked late into the evening but the man’s lifeless body was found just before 9pm.
Witness Agnes, 37, said: ‘I saw he was struggling in the water and shouting for help.
‘I ran and raised the alarm. A man who I think was in his fifties jumped into the water accompanied by a strong looking man in his twenties.
‘They got to where he was last seen but could not find him. It all happened so quickly.’
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According to Joanne Pendlebury, from Waterland Outdoor Pursuits which owns part of Lake 32, the victim had been ‘looking for his missing dog’.
Lake 32 is used for wild water swimming and is assessed annually by the Environment Agency.
Agnes said she wishes she could have done more to help during the incident, which she estimates ‘happened in about five minutes’.
‘I can’t swim very well so I felt helpless,’ she added. ‘The more I think about it the more I feel sorry I couldn’t do anything.
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‘It was a busy day at the park. Everyone had gone there to enjoy the sun.
‘I feel really sad this has happened. My thoughts are with the man’s family and friends.’
It is understood the park remained open and police asked people to move away from the lake while the incident was being attended to.
A spokeswoman for Gloucestershire Constabulary said they responded to ‘reports that a swimmer had disappeared in the lake’.
She said last night: ‘A body has been recovered in connection with the search for a swimmer who had gone missing in the lake at Cotswold Water Park this afternoon.
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‘Officers conducted searches along with the National Police Air Service (NPAS), Severn Area Rescue Association (SARA) and Fire Service and the body of a man was pulled from the water shortly before 8.50pm.
‘He was sadly pronounced dead at the scene and the coroner and the man’s next of kin have been informed.’