A Belleville teenager who drowned at a beach in Rolla has been identified as 18-year-old Kalon D. Green. The teen was at Fugitive Beach when troopers said he went down the water slide and did not resurface.
The owner of the beach said as soon as staff became aware that someone was under water, it was an all hands on deck search. They located Green, administered CPR. EMS responded and took him to the hospital where he later died.
On Sunday, Fugitive Beach was filled with swimmers — some said they were on heightened alert.
"Yes, we heard about the drowning, we actually questioned the lifeguards," said Jamie Gumpel, who was at the beach with her kids. They heard about Saturday’s drowning on their way over to the beach."So, I think that for that reason we were more cautious with our small children, we were making sure that they were guarded," she said.
Around 3p.m., Saturday, Kalon Green went down the water slide but failed to surface once he landed in the water.
"Staff jumped in the water and tried to locate the person," Mark Kearse, the owner of The Fugitive Beach, explained. Kearse said all 14 lifeguards on duty were called to the scene and began searching for Green. Three lifeguards were surveying the water slide, itself.
“You always do an after action report on any incident,” Kearse explained with regard to precautions the beach is now taking.
He said he plans to build another lifeguard station in the middle of the water, directly in front of the bottom of the slide.
While some swimmers did express ambivalence.
"I went down the slide twice today, but nobody else was really feeling it because of what happened yesterday," Dustin Lightfoot explained
Many attendees said as long as you take proper precautions, there’s no reason to be afraid.
“I think self-awareness is very important, you got to have a friend, a buddy, someone to interact with,” Gumple said.
Kearse tells 5 On Your Side that there was one other drowning at the swimming basin. In 2014, a 6-year-old drowned on the other side of the beach. He said it’s standard protocol for water patrol to conduct its own investigation.