Man dies after bystanders pull him from SC lake on Fourth of July, officials say

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A South Carolina man died after he was pulled from a popular lake on the Fourth of July, officials said.

The 38-year-old went underwater at about 5 p.m. before bystanders found him and got him to shore, according to the Oconee County Coroner’s Office.

The man was taken to Prisma Health Oconee Memorial Hospital, where he later died of complications from an accidental drowning. He was identified in a news release as Michael Criswell of Greenville.

Criswell died after spending time on Lake Keowee, a popular destination for fishing, boating and other water activities roughly 35 miles west of Greenville. He was wading in the water with friends when officials said another person “became distressed.”

“Criswell, who reportedly could not swim, assisted this person to safety” near the Stamp Creek Landing boat ramp in Seneca, the coroner’s office said. He might have stepped into a deeper part of the lake before struggling and going below the surface.

Criswell was pulled out of the lake after being found in about 8 feet of water. Officials said he received CPR before he was rushed to an emergency room.

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