Mississippi man drowns after canoe filled with six people overturns on Alabama lake

Published 7:11 am Saturday, April 17, 2021

A canoe outing on Alabama’s Lake Martin turned tragic when a Mississippi man drowned after the boat overturned Thursday sending the victim and five other people swimming for the shore.

“It appears to be an accident,” Coosa County Sheriff Michael Howell said. “There were five other people in a canoe. One person stood up and the canoe overturned. They all fell out and had to swim to shore.”

It took just over 24 hours for authorities to locate the body of Vazquez Israel Saavedra, 20, of Mississippi in the Parker Creek area of Lake Martin.

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Just after 5 p.m. Friday,  Saavedra’s body was located in the water near Turkey Trot just off Coosa County Road 20 after the roofer took a canoe trip.

Saavedra and some fellow roofers had reportedly decided to take a break from their roofing job nearby and went on the water in a canoe Thursday afternoon.

“The Coosa County Sheriff’s Office received a medical call about 1:30 p.m. Thursday,” Howell said.

Just minutes later a caller reported Saavedra had fallen into the waters of Lake Martin.

Howell said life preservers were not being used.

Saavedra didn’t make it to the shoreline. Thursday and Friday boats from the sheriff’s office and marine patrol could be seen in the Parker Creek area as well as divers going underwater.

Saavedra’s body will be sent to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences for an autopsy.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Mr. Saavedra,” Howell said.