Red River Drowning at Denison Dam

By: Morgan Downing Email
By: Morgan Downing Email

BRYAN COUNTY, OK -- This afternoon authorities say they recovered the body of 38-year-old Kenneth Cowart after he saved two young boys out of the red river just below the Denison Dam.

Bill Smith says around 3:00 Saturday afternoon, the Denison Dam's siren went off warning people to get out of the water because the hydro-power gates were about to be opened.

"They went off about 15 minutes before the water went on, and then when it turned on that's when the two went out to play in the current," said Smith.

"Before that, the siren went off. To me that let's people cautious them to get out of the water for this type of reason," said witness Candace Davis.

Bryan County Undersheriff Ken Golden says two young boys went out into the water to swim and got stuck in the current.
Authorities say the two boys were struggling when a white male in his thirties jumped in to save them.
Officials say the two children were rescued, but the man did not make it out.

"He'd been under probably about 15 minutes when they got here," said Smith.

B.J. Parkey, with the Army Corps of Engineers, says a diving team found the man's body a little after 5 p.m.
Parkey says life jackets were not in use.
Smith says he's been fishing around the dam for nearly 50 years, and drownings or near-drownings keep happening.

"Tell them to put some signs down here that say no swimming. I don't know how many have drown down here and several others that we had to save that didn't drown."


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