By James Cook, Times Editor
A day of fishing turned tragic for one Stanton family. Last Sunday evening a man fell into Skyview Lake after a witness stated he was reaching in to pull out a fish he had caught. He never resurfaced, as his wife, two small children, brother and friends looked on.
Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Conservation Officer Chad Rice stated that the man, Marcos Antonio Perez, fell in and may have panicked. “His brother told me that he could swim, but that he had a breathing problem. I took that to possibly be asthma,” Rice said. “If you fall in and panic, get about a pint of water down in those lungs and stay under it does not take long.”
Powell County 911 Emergency Dispatch received the call at approximately 5:16 p.m. and reported that Perez, 22 of Stanton, may have been under water for four minutes as they dispatched units to the area. Emergency personnel from the Stanton and Clay City fire departments, as well as Powell EMS units were sent to the pay lake just off Paint Creek Road. The units arrived within five minutes of receiving the call.
Once it had been determined that he could not be found by those personnel on scene, the mission went from rescue to recovery. Water rescue and search units from Menifee, Estill and Clark County were called in and arrived just after 6:15 p.m. Kentucky State Police, Powell County Sheriff Danny Rogers, CSEPP Director Danny McCormick and Powell Emergency Management Director Arthur Ashley were also on scene to render assistance.
The lake is, according to officials, 22 to 25 feet deep and covers about two acres. The shore line slopes downward at a sharp angle and then falls straight off. At least one witness reportedly tried to jump in to help Perez, but was not able to find him.
Perez body was found at 7:19 p.m. and taken out of the water some six minutes later. He was pronounced dead at the scene by Powell County Coroner Carl Wells.
“I fell little bad about all this, as we all should anytime something like this happens,” Rice said. “I had written him up before for fishing without a license and told him he needed to find a pay lake where a license was not required. I even suggested this lake. You never know, you really never know what can happen. That’s why it is so important to be careful around water.”
The body was sent to Frankfort for an autopsy. Police consider the drowning an accident.