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Chief Hopes Swimmers Heed Warnings After Teen’s Death

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CLEVELAND– The teenager whose body was found in the lake at Perkins Beach Tuesday afternoon has been identified as Gregory Adams, 15, of Cleveland.

The Cleveland Metroparks Rangers Dive Team, along with the Cleveland Fire Department Dive Team, and the United States Coast Guard all took part in the hour-long search for the teen, just before 3 p.m.

Adams’ body was found just before 4 p.m.; the Coast Guard said the boy was pronounced dead at the scene.

The 15-year-old was floating in the water on a log with a friend, and everything seemed fine according to witnesses.

Jessica Russell said, “It seemed normal. They were having fun, laughing.”

But officials said the two ran into trouble when the current began to carry the log into deeper and deeper waters.

When it reached waters 7 1/2 feet deep, the young men decided to swim back to shore, but only one person made it.

“The body, we did locate in 20 feet of water,” said Assistant Chief David McNeilly, “So the water did drop off considerably.”

Perkins Beach is a public access beach, but there are no lifeguards on duty and there are “No Swimming” signs posted warning of the “dangerous” and “hazardous” conditions.

Chief McNeilly said the current can be strong at the location, causing problems for even experienced swimmers.

The chief called the death tragic, and hopes people will heed the warning signs in the future.

Some people who were on the beach at the time of the drowning took that message to heart.

“It’s just scary because it could’ve happened to any one of us, and we were right on the other side of it. That current could’ve taken us down too, and there were multiple other kids there too,” said Randy McMillon of Cleveland.

The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office said an autopsy will be performed on the victim Wednesday.