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Coroner says 27-year-old drowns after swimming in one of SC’s deadliest bodies of water

A Greenville man drowned Tuesday in a lake that has been called the deadliest body of water in Upstate South Carolina.

Thomas Landon Gallman, 27, died after going swimming with friends at Fall Creek Landing near Salem, Oconee County Coroner Karl Addis said in a news release.

The group got to the section of Lake Keowee around 5 p.m. and swam to an island called “The Rock,” according to the news release.

At about 6:30 p.m., a water bottle floated away prompting the man to swim in pursuit, but he “disappeared beneath the water surface,” Addis said.

The coroner said a female member of the group tried, but was not able to rescue the man.

After a 911 call was made, emergency responders came to the lake and just before 7:30 p.m. recovered the man’s body, according to the news release.

The man was pronounced dead at Fall Creek Landing, and Addis called it an accident in the news release.

The coroner identified Gallman Wednesday after notifying his family.

In 2018, the coroner’s office said at least 32 people have died in Lake Keowee over the past 25 years, and 17 of those fatalities were at Fall Creek Landing, the “popular swimming and boating area that features a rock outcropping used for jumping in the lake,” the Greenville News reported.

Addis suggested any swimmers of “limited or non-existent” capability should wear “a flotation device” while visiting Fall Creek Landing, according to the newspaper.

A 19-year-old drowned while swimming with friends in the area in April, The State reported.

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Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State focused on breaking news, public safety and trending news. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.
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