Colleton County Fire-Rescue


06/10/2012 – Drowning Incident – “B” shift

Incident # 12-03061 – Fire-Rescue units were sent to 21932 Augusta Highway to the Horseshoe Lake Farm Sunday afternoon 10-June at 12:21 for a drowning incident. The location is in rural northeastern Colleton County. The incident was originally dispatched as a child missing in the water for ten minutes, however it turned out to be the child’s father who drown. The 28 year old Moncks Corner man was reported to have been riding a horse with his three year old daughter. They were in the water when they both fell off of the horse. The man’s girlfriend (child’s mother) was on the bank and jumped in to save the little girl. She was able to safely get the girl to shore and went back to help the man, who was struggling. She was successful in getting his head out of the water once, but she was unable to keep him up in the deep water. She then began screaming for help, summoning two men from nearby campsites. One man was, Don Archanbault who repeatedly dove for more than fifteen minutes, until he located the victim. The other man was also searching and help Archanbault pull him to shore. Mr. Archanbault located his body just after Engine 11 arrived. 

The man was under the water for an estimated 25 minutes. Firefighter-Paramedics examined the three year old and her mother, but neither required ambulance transportation to the hospital.

This lake or combination of large ponds, was once a sand harvesting operation several decades ago. It has been now turned into a campground, with campsites located around the lake/ponds. Engine 11 arrived at the front of the campground eight minutes after the dispatch. There was a heavy downpour with very little visibility. Engine 11 was directed down a very narrow dirt road that wound its way around the back of the ponds. It took another 5 to 8 minutes to get the fire truck and ambulance to the actual location. The road turned into not more than a four wheeler path due to heavy over growth. Fire-Rescue divers also responded to the scene, but they did not have to suit up.  The Coroner’s Office responded and transported the man to MUSC. The Sheriff’s Office also responded.

Engine 9, Engine 11, Medic 9, Medic 19, Squad 9, Squad 27, Marine 27, Battalion 1 and Car 12 responded. Captain Dwayne Jacques served as Incident Commander.