St. Clair County Deputy Coroner Jeremiah Gilreath identified the victim as Donna Kilpatrick, 47.
Gilreath said he pronounced Kilpatrick dead at the scene at 1:10 a.m. Monday after her body was found by the Etowah County Rescue Team and recovered by the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department shortly after midnight.
The accidental drowning happened near Katie Kove Campground in Ragland at about 6 p.m. Sunday. The Ragland Police Department received a call at about 6:30 p.m.
Police Chief James “Bubba” Brown said his department and the Ragland Rescue Squad were the first on the scene.
“Witnesses said there were four people on the pontoon boat that had anchored just below Henry Neely Dam,” Brown said. “They were all swimming around the boat. Ms. Kilpatrick could not swim very well and was around the boat holding on to the side. The other three people (two men and a lady) talked about how deep the water was where they were at and decided to dive down to see if they could touch bottom.
“When they resurfaced, they did not see Ms. Kilpatrick and started calling for her. When she didn’t answer, they started diving down searching for her but couldn’t find her. One of the people on the boat used a cell phone to call 911.”
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