Silsbee man drowns in Lake Sam Rayburn - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Silsbee man drowns in Lake Sam Rayburn

Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of
Photo courtesy of Photo courtesy of
Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox Sabine County Sheriff Tom Maddox

By Holley Nees - email

SABINE COUNTY, TX (KTRE) - A Silsbee man drowned while on a fishing trip with his brother Sunday afternoon in Lake Sam Rayburn, according to the Sabine County Sheriff's Office.

According to Sheriff Thomas Maddox, Rodney Letney, 50, was fishing with his brother at Mill Creek Camp. At one point, they both jumped in the water to cool off. When the brother reached the boat, he noticed his brother struggling in the water. The brother then jumped back in the water but was unable to save him.

Maddox said the rescue call came to dispatch around 2 p.m. Officials with Texas Parks and Wildlife managed to recover Letney's body around 7 p.m.

Maddox estimated the lake depth to be between six and eight feet.

He just wanted to take a dip in Lake Sam Rayburn, but he never came out of this water alive.

"Even where you have swam for years upon years, things can happen, you can get cramps, you can have an injury of any kind," Maddox said.

"It's always a tragic event when someone loses their life when they're doing something that they like to do," Maddox said. "We hope that everyone takes a moment and makes sure that everything that they do is done safely."

A game warden tells us although children 12 and under are required by law to wear a life jacket, everyone is encouraged to put one on. Also, try not to be alone and stay close to the platform or boat. Maddox says the tragedy serves as a reminder of how dangerous things can turn out on the water.

"It's just amazing how quick things can develop from just having fun to a tragic incident, so we just ask everyone there to be extremely careful," Maddox said. "Enjoy the facilities out there on the lake, but do it safely."

Copyright 2010 KTRE. All rights reserved.

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