Swimmers Take Precaution After Lake Worth Drowning

Most swimmers were aware of the Saturday night drowning

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The long holiday weekend is coming to a close with few problems on North Texas lakes. There has been just one reported drowning since Friday, an Oklahoma man who died in Lake Worth on Saturday night.

    The long holiday weekend is coming to a close with few problems on North Texas lakes. There has been just one reported drowning since Friday, an Oklahoma man who died in Lake Worth on Saturday night.

    On Sunday, dozens of people still flocked to Marine Park in Fort Worth, where the man died. Only a few were aware that Melchor Martinez, 38, of Oklahoma City had drowned there, with his family watching on the beach.

    Whether they knew about the death or not, most everyone on the water Sunday took proper precautions.

    "Oh heck yeah, definitely," said Silent Paquette of Fort Worth. "If they're in the water, we're in the water."

    Paquette kept a close eye on his young kids while at Lake Worth on Sunday, their second straight day at the park. They arrived back at the park less than 24 hours after witnessing the frantic search for Martinez.

    "It was kind of chaotic because no one knew what was really happening," Paquette said. "I heard like four or five different stories, but yeah it was crazy."

    It was the first drowning in North Texas during the holiday weekend and the third on Lake Worth in the last year.

    In a dual drowning last Labor Day Weekend, the Zacarias family says in court documents that recent dredging contributed to Juan and Javier Zacarias' death. They sued the city, saying there was no warning signs about the steep drop off. In court papers, the city says the uncle and nephew didn't know how to swim and weren't wearing life jackets.

    So far, it's not known if Martinez could swim, whether the drop off played a role, or if he was wearing a life jacket.

    "Oh yeah, the life jackets, of course we've got the jet ski going on as well," said Tom Helmstaedter.

    He made sure his kids had life jackets on Sunday afternoon as they enjoyed the lake. He says they know there are risks when coming to a lake, but area always prepared.

    "You have to be safe, you have to be in control and you have to know what you're doing when you're in the water," Helmstaedter said.

    And in the wake of a holiday weekend tragedy, everyone said they were paying extra attention to their kids, just in case.

    "There's nothing we can do about it but watch our kids closely," Paquette said.

    "You never come alone, always have a group of people, always on an eye out for one another," Helmstaedter said.

    Both Helmstaedter and Paquette said there is a drop off about 25 feet out in the water, but both felt the drop off was typical of lakes in the area.

    The lawsuit against the city is still pending.