Local News

One Man Drowns at Acapulco Lake

Posted July 4, 1999

— Swimming was a popular choice to beat the heat Monday, but in Harnett County, a popular water spot turned deadly.

Michael Wayne Giles, 26, of Sanford, drowned in Acapulco Lake. There was no lifeguard, and officials call the drowning accidental.

There are signs at Acapulco Lake telling people to swim at their own risk, that there are no lifeguards on duty, and that the water is deep.

"It's about 80 feet deep in some spots," said rescuer John Martin.

Martin is one of the rescuers who pulled Giles' body from under 15 feet of water late Monday afternoon.

"There were some people that were over there with him, and they said he just kind of fell in and kept going on down," said Martin.

Stacy and Trent Farris were swimming on the other side of the lake.

"They were intoxicated and shouldn't have been swimming like that. It's like driving drunk," said Trent Farris.

"If nothing changes, something is going to happen again," said resident Bill Dymond.

Dymond lives across the street from Acapulco Lake.

"I hear the hooping and hollering and also the loud music," said Dymond.

That noise, he said, comes from teenagers drinking and swimming all hours of summer nights.

The lake is surrounded by a chain-link fence, but at one spot, the fence has been pulled up, and under it is a worn path.

"This was the middle of the day. What if somebody was to drown in the night when no one is there?" said Dymond.

WRAL tried to contact the owner of the lake but was told he did not want to comment.

The sign at a Raleigh apartment complex also read "swim at your own risk." The risk proved to be too much at Woods of Northbend Apartments Monday.

A Raleigh man drowned in the pool at the apartment complex off Sandy Forks Road. Witnesses say no one saw him go under. One swimmer spotted his body in the bottom of the pool.

Officers are not releasing his identity until his family has been notified. They will say he was a 35-year-old resident of the complex.

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