A teenager drowned in a disused quarry in Fredericksburg, Va., Monday night despite efforts by his friends to save him.
Fredericksburg police said Anthonly Mandel Johnson, Jr., 18, from Triangle, Va., was swimming toward a rope swing at the quarry near the Rappahnnock River at the end of Wicklow Drive. The victim began struggling in the water and a friend tried to save him but was unable to do so.
Dive teams recovered the victim from the water about 45 minutes later. He was pronounced dead at a hospital.
Doctors believe cold water shocked Johnson's muscles and forced him into fatigue, according to his mother, Yolanda Johnson. She told Northern Virginia Bureau reporter David Culver her son was an excellent swimmer.
"He's just there still in the water, and he's not moving, then he starts screaming for help," said Jasleen Molina, a friend. "At first I thought he was joking, but as soon as I saw my little cousin jump in the water towards him, to help him, I tried swimming towards him, but I just couldn't."
Police said the quarry is private property and there are posted signs against trespassing. However, it is a commonly known site for swimming.
Johnson's family hopes his death serves as a warning to others about the dangers of the quarry.
"We didn't know that those kids were not supposed to be out there, and that's what we found out later, because if we would've known, we'd never have let him go," said his father, Anthony Johnson.
Officers will be increasing patrols in the area throughout the remainder of the summer to prevent any more drownings.
Johnson recently graduated from Forest Park High School and was set to attend the University of South Florida and study environmental engineering. Orientation was next month.
A memorial will be held at Montclair Elementary School Saturday at 8:30 p.m.