Apparent drowning victim recovered at Lake Martin

Updated: Apr. 16, 2021 at 5:33 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

COOSA COUNTY, Ala. (WSFA) - Divers at Lake Martin have found the body of the man who authorities believe drowned at Lake Martin.

The Coosa County Sheriff’s Office says they got a call around 1:30 p.m. Thursday saying someone appeared to have drowned. The sheriff’s office, plus multiple other agencies, responded to the Parker Creek area of Lake Martin to search for the victim. This area is about about 10 miles southwest of Alexander City.

The sheriff’s office identified the victim as 20-year-old Vazquez Israel Saavedra, a roofer from Mississippi. They identified him after his family was notified.

Saavedra’s body was recovered Friday afternoon.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the victim,” said Coosa County Sheriff Michael Howell.

Investigators say it happened after Saavedra and some fellow roofers decided to take a break from their roofing job nearby and went on the water in a canoe. They said that’s when something went wrong.

“Based on what we gathered so far is that individuals stood up in the canoe to take a picture and tipped the canoe over,” said Howell.

There were a total of six people in the canoe.

The canoe rests on the shore of Lake Martin in Parker Creek, 10 miles southwest of Alex City.
The canoe rests on the shore of Lake Martin in Parker Creek, 10 miles southwest of Alex City.(Source: WSFA 12 News)

Although the water is only 16 feet deep in the area they were searching, there were challenges for divers.

“Our biggest challenge is keeping your location. When you go down it’s hard to keep your bearings of exactly where you’re at and visibility,” said Alexander City fire medic Zachary Zipprich.

A water search dog was also used.

“Dogs are trained to give a trained final response to odor when they small odor coming up out of the water or oils on the surface of the water,” said Janet Geist of North Alabama Search Dog Association.

Copyright 2021 WSFA 12 News. All rights reserved.