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Albany teen drowns in McDonough fishing lake

Henry County rescuers search for Benny Davis, 16, of Albany, who drowned Monday in Lake Dow. A dive team recovered his body about an hour after officials received a 911 call. The cause of the drowning had not been determined Tuesday. (July 30, 2013)

Henry County rescuers search for Benny Davis, 16, of Albany, who drowned Monday in Lake Dow. A dive team recovered his body about an hour after officials received a 911 call. The cause of the drowning had not been determined Tuesday. (July 30, 2013)

ALBANY — Bennie Davis, a 16-year-old Albany resident, drowned in Lake Dow near McDonough Monday, where he was visiting friends.

An emergency 911 call from one of Davis’ friends was received at 4:37 p.m. Monday, officials said, stating that Davis jumped into the water, but never resurfaced.

Henry County Fire Department Capt. Sabrina Puckett said the department and its dive team responded to the call, quickly determining that it was a recovery operation rather than a rescue.

According to Puckett, Davis’ body was recovered at 5:34 p.m. in about 15 feet of water about 30 feet from the dock. He was transported to Piedmont Henry Hospital in Stockbridge, Puckett said.

Donald Cleveland, Henry County coroner, said an autopsy confirmed that Davis died from accidental drowning and that there were no signs of foul play.

“I think he may have known how to swim,” Cleveland said, “but perhaps he just wasn’t familiar enough with the water in the lake.”

In a statement, the fire department warned that a person should never to jump or dive into dark water or water of indeterminate depth without knowing what was below the surface. Officials also warned that a person should never swim alone and that parents should “never take their eyes off their children” when around water.

Davis is listed by the coroner’s office as the son of Erica Teemer, an employee of Albany State University.

Kelsey Cochran of the Henry Daily Herald

contributed to this report.