Warmer air temperatures this month might make it seem comfortable to enter the water, but not all water is safe for swimming — particularly where a teenager drowned at Eastwood Lake on Wednesday.
Hasta Biswa, a Belmont High School senior, was one of four young men playing in the water at Eastwood MetroPark. In a minute, he disappeared in the water.
“I can’t believe that that quickly they lost someone in the lake,” said Staci Lovy, who was walking her dogs nearby.
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Mark Hess, chief of Five Rivers MetroParks’ Ranger Division, said swimming isn’t allowed there.
“The problem is, Eastwood used to be a quarry and the bottom is pretty unpredictable,” Hess said. “So you think you’re safe one minute, and you can take a few more steps, and all of a sudden it gets very deep, very quickly.”
“There’s not a really good, safe area to allow swimming out there,” he said.
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Biswa, 19, waded into the lake at Eastwood late Wednesday afternoon with two brothers and an uncle.
“They were jumping off of the bank, swimming after a glass bottle that they had thrown out, and when they got there they were wrestling and hollering and screaming in the water, and just horse-playing as far as I know,” said Lovy of Huber Heights.
The last Prem Biswa saw of his brother alive was Hasta’s hand slipping under the surface, according to park ranger’s report of the drowning.
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Rescue crews, including divers from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, responded to the lake around 6:15 p.m., according to the Montgomery County Regional Dispatch.
At the same time Wednesday, Abishek Biswa’s dad told the 15-year-old to get in the car.
“He said there was an accident, my brother’s in the water,” Abishek Biswa said.
They raced to the lake.
“When I got there everybody was outside; Hasta, I didn’t see,” Abishek Biswa said.
In America only a few years, extended family members from Bhutan were overcome with emotion and escorted away from the scene by rangers, according to the incident report.
Nearly 45 minutes into the search on Wednesday, rescue teams found Biswa 30 to 40 feet from the shore and pulled him from the lake, said Dayton District Chief Paul Raisch.
At 7:33 p.m., the coroner’s office pronounced Hasta Biswa dead.
He is the second teenager in the area to drown within a month.
Chance Mills, 18, of Dayton, was pulled by divers April 19 from a 25-foot-deep section of the pond in Lakeside Park after an extensive search. Witnesses said he was struggling to swim before he went under.
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Family members said Hasta Biswa didn’t know how to swim.
Hess said drownings remain uncommon in the parks but could be rarer.
“If you’re anywhere near water or going into the water even a little bit, you should know how to swim,” he said. “I would not risk it without knowing how to swim.”
Swimming is prohibited in all Five Rivers MetroParks parks, Hess said. Where permitted — in local pools and designated beaches at state parks — swimming is safer because, “you know where the bottom is and there might be lifeguards,” he said.
Prem had told Hasta it was time to go to shore Wednesday, according to their younger brother Abishek.
“My big brother said I’m leaving. And Hasta was behind him — but when he looked back he was not there.”
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