21-year-old Jarris Willingham was reportedly a passenger on a jet ski when he fell into the water and drowned.
Lawton police stated Jarris Willingham’s physique was recovered by a dive workforce on Sunday round 11:30 am. They additionally confirmed that Willingham was not sporting a life jacket.
It is required in Oklahoma for folks on private watercraft to put on a private flotation system.
Oklahoma Highway Patrol Trooper Ryan Griffin stated he’s been in regulation enforcement for about 29 years and has witnessed firsthand how a life jacket can save a life.
“Of course, if you’re wearing a personal flotation device that’s required by law, then it probably wouldn’t have occurred at all. It possibly could have prevented this situation from happening,” he stated.
He encourages folks to put on life jackets even when they really feel assured in their swimming skills.
“Very seldomly do we investigate a drawing or a boating accident or a fatality victim could not swim? Because people who can’t swim, are typically not in that situation or in that environment for something like that to happen. I can also tell that most people that are in that situation or a tragedy like a drowning occur can swim,” he stated.
Trooper Griffith additionally stated 80% of boat drownings occur in this space of the nation, so it’s important to put on a life jacket out on the water.
“It is very very important that we utilize them like we do our seat belts. Seat belts only work in our vehicles if we wear them. Personal flotation devices only work when we wear them,” he stated.
Willingham was additionally an energetic obligation airman primary at Sheppard Air Force Base down in Wichita Falls.