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Mother wants answers after teen drowns at Goldsboro rec area

Posted July 9, 2012
Updated July 10, 2012

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— A 14-year-old Raleigh boy drowned Sunday while swimming with friends at a private recreational area near Goldsboro, where two other people have drowned in the past two years, and the teen's grieving mother says she wants answers.

Witnesses called authorities after seeing three people struggling in the water at Busco Beach, 1243 Bryan Blvd., around 6:45 p.m. Sunday, said Maj. Tom Effler, with the Wayne County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies Martin McAlduff and Tyler Kelly stripped out of their gear and swam out to the swimmers, about 200 yards offshore. Effler said witnesses were already in the water and rescued one swimmer before the deputies could reach them.

Another swimmer made it to shore safely, but Jaimel Cooper slipped under the water and couldn't be found.

Wayne County EMS, the MAR-MAC Water Rescue Team and Wayne County Sheriff's Office dive team searched the water until 2:30 a.m. Monday and then resumed the search during the daylight. They found Jaimel's body around 7:45 a.m.

Jaimel's mother, Kim Cooper-Myrick, says her son knew how to swim. She said he was walking in waist-deep water when he sank into what she described as quick sand. The family is considering taking legal action against the beach, she said.

"He's my baby. There are no words. I'm going to miss him so much," Cooper-Myrick said. "He's not coming back."

Jack Rose Bennett, who once owned Busco Beach and is still involved with the site, said that, when he arrived, people weren't sure whether Jaimel had even gone in the water and that there was a search for him on shore.

Jaimel's family, who was not at the beach at the time, says authorities told them Jaimel was standing in the water when he started to sink.

"It's horrible. It's a personal tragedy to me," Bennett said. "I don't know (what happened). I truthfully do not know. I do know that 90 percent of this lake is 3 feet deep or less." Raleigh teen drowns at Busco Beach Raleigh teen drowns at Busco Beach

Sheriff C.A. Winders released a statement, saying his heart goes out to the teen's family.

"Unfortunately, with the extreme heat that we have been experiencing, this type of tragedy often occurs with water sports,"  Winders said. "I do want to commend Deputy McAlduff and Kelly for their quick thinking and fast response in assisting in the rescue of one of the swimmers."

At least two other people have drowned at the ATV park with a man-made beach since 2010: Samuel Evans Turner, 31, of Courtland, Va., in May 2011 and Michael Gardner, 44, of Rocky Mount, in June 2010.

There are no lifeguards at Busco Beach, and people are advised to swim at their own risk.

102 Comments

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  • booga1128 Jul 12, 2012

    Very sad this happened but have gone here many of times never any problems. I even have went with youth with no problems you need to watch you're family members when the service isn't provided. but now everybody just sues and blames people for acceidents what a shame. Have furneral arrangements been mad or is that after the law suit

  • DontVote4LiarsCheatsOrThieves Jul 11, 2012

    andy griffiths hologram - "How about starting a campaign about the dangers of swimming in an area that says "Swim at your own risk"

    We need a LIKE button here.

  • RM24 Jul 10, 2012

    And finally, when are you going to investigate every public body of water where someone has drowned? Or do you have something against the owners of Busco Beach? Is this particular place personal for yall?

  • RM24 Jul 10, 2012

    Also WRAL why were the other lives lost here not worth you investigating?

  • RM24 Jul 10, 2012

    FOR WHATEVER REASON. WRAL will not post this comment. Its about the third time I've tried. I have swam in these lakes 100's of times and there is NO quick sand. typical sandy bottom you find in a sandy pond/lake.

  • chriswcarroll2 Jul 10, 2012

    I'm a member at this park, the people there are wonderfuland do the best they can. ATV's are NOT allowed in the swimming area. There is no quick sand just soft areas as with any other lake or pond. I have been going there for years, and this was a freak accident. I feel so sorry for the family of this child. People please understand it is posted NO LIFEGUARD ON DUTY SWIM AT YOUR OWN RISK for a reason. You can't shut down everything just because an accident happened. This is a family oriented place,I have to defend this recreation area. They do have beach patrol, however anyone that has been there can tell you with 500 plus people you can't watch everyone. Prayers to the family, and may he RIP.

  • rsgolo Jul 10, 2012

    faitmanjie: I have heart, but let's face it, when the first thing someone does after a child or loved one dies is to cry "sue, sue!" then I have no respect for them. I'm sorry, but it seems to be everyone's first instinct these days and I'm sick of it.

  • fatimanjie Jul 10, 2012

    I'm a student heritage & I'm digusted by what some of yall are saying why can't she get answers, know what happen to her son yes lawsuit might not be right but a mother is in pain she can see her child no more & that's sad. I don't know the kid but He was love by many & what do think his mother hasn't watched & protected her child she's been doing it or almost 15 years & you people can talk bad about her parenting it was an accident a terrible one & you guys should be ashamed. When y'all find yall heart come back & comment. The Beach should have checked out what was going on with that beach because 5 people have drowned thats serious a matter that should be checked out by the police. He will be missed by many RIP Jaimel, His birthdays in 10 days & he would've been 15 : (

  • rsgolo Jul 10, 2012

    Warbirdlover: yes, she was.

  • promethazine codeine lover Jul 10, 2012

    \rayers to the family but legal action is the wrong way to go... How about starting a campaign about the dangers of swimming in an area that says "Swim at your own risk"

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