KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Rescue divers from the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed a teen who had gone swimming with his step brother and two others at an area lake has drowned.
Around 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, emergency personal were dispatched to Longview Lake near Shelter House 13 after four males attempted to swim across a cove, which is about four to seven feet deep and spans about 200 yards.
Of the four males, only three were able to make it to shore, leaving 18-year-old Tim "T.J." Nolen unaccounted for. Witnesses at the scene, who say they were at the lake enjoying a family reunion, told FOX 4 a teenage boy had ran from the lake screaming for someone to call 911.
Approximately a half an hour later rescuers recovered Nolen's body from the bottom of the cove. Family members say Nolen was a great swimmer, however investigators believe none of the swimmers were wearing life jackets.
“You’re going to try and swim something like this, make sure you have a life vest and just be safe, you know,” said Dep. Chief Norman Larkey of the Kansas City Fire Department. “It looks like a short distance but it’s, if you’re not a swimmer that’s a long distance, and so just be safe. Don’t do anything you, you don’t think your body can handle. It’s tragic.”
On Saturday afternoon FOX 4 spoke to Nolen's girlfriend, Audra Callen, who says she has known him since they were both babies.
"He always could make me smile. He was so sweet. He described me as the light at the end of his tunnel," said Callen. "He changed me for the better. Now I know what standards to hold people up to and when I want people to treat me good I'll just think of what he did for me. In my mind its always gonna be me and him."
Two of the three survivors were treated at St. Lukes, and the third was treated at the scene. All three are expected to be okay.