Accidental drowning in Kinchafoonee Creek - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Accidental drowning in Kinchafoonee Creek

April 7, 2004

Lee County-- A combination of cold water, exhaustion and panic likely caused a Lee County man to drown Tuesday afternoon.

31-year-old Chris Taulbee was surveying Kinchafoonee Creek when he went under water and never resurfaced.

Chris Taulbee was testing the depth of the water in Kinchafoonee Creek Tuesday afternoon. Investigators say wading so far out was not planned. Lee County Investigator Lewis Harris says, "When they started doing the survey they said we need to get across to the other side to get a shot from the other side and Chris said okay I will do it so he volunteered to do it."

Taulbee swam from the west bank about three-quarters of the way to the opposite side, "He was approximately 30 to 40 yards from the bank on the other side when he went down so he done swim a good length across the creek."

According to the Coroner, the temperature of Kinchafoonee Creek where Taulbee drowned was a frigid 55 degrees. The cold was probably a shock to his system. It is likely his muscles cramped and he might have even lost his breath, making it even more of a challenge for him to swim to safety.

Harris says, "When his body was located he had on blue jeans which he was weighted down, he had on a pair of socks and a white tank top t-shirt on."

The wet clothing was like carrying a heavy weight for Taulbee--plus he started to panic,: "One of the witnesses did get to him and had a hold of him and he was panicking and just lost control of him and he went down and never saw him again."

Taulbee was not wearing a life-jacket when he drowned.

No autopsy will be performed on Taulbee, because the drowning was clearly accidental.

Posted at 4:20 p.m. by melissa.kill@walb.com