Family of drowning victim calls for adding lifeguards at designa - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

Family of drowning victim calls for adding lifeguards at designated swimming areas

Christopher Wayne Sharp. (Source: Laurelee Foster) Christopher Wayne Sharp. (Source: Laurelee Foster)
WACO, TX (KXXV) -

The family of a 19-year-old who drowned in Lake Waco on Memorial Day plans to start a call to action to add lifeguards at designated swimming areas of Lake Waco.

Currently, there are signs at area beaches stating there are no lifeguards on duty so people are swimming at their own risk.

Waco Police said Christopher Sharp swam past the designated swimming area at Twin Bridges Park and went under water on Monday.

His fiance Laurelee Foster was in the beach area when the accident happened. 

"I just knew that he had to come up, that we had to save him," Foster said. 

The 18-year-old remembers being devastated when she first heard her fiance would not survive.

 "I held his hand for a really long time. I kissed his forehead and I wiped his blood away. I laid on his chest and I didn't hear his heartbeat because that's what I went to sleep on every night," Foster said.

Sharp's stepdad Raymond Ripley said lifeguards could’ve possibly saved his life. 

"We are trying to get a petition started to where there is a lifeguard on duty in a designated swimming area because no parent should bury their child. That's the worst nightmare you can ever have," Ripley said.

According to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Clay Church, it's very unfortunate his family is having to go through the loss of their loved one.

"Whenever there is a fatality at one of our projects, it is certainly not something we like to hear about nor like to experience. We do have a fairly robust safety program with water recreation at our lakes," Church said. 

He added the corp's funding and staffing levels would not allow them to put full-time lifeguards at lake beach swim area. However, he said they will continue their outreach to educate the public about water safety. 

The family is hosting a memorial service open to the public on Friday. It will take place at Connect Church in Bellmead at 2 p.m. 

Foster and Ripley hope to celebrate with others the life of the Connally High School graduate and JROTC member. 

"He could make you smile. He could be friends with you as soon as he met you," Foster said. 

Sharp who was honorably discharged from the U.S. Air Force after eight months is also remembered for his selfless personality.

“He was very dedicated to helping other people. He was helping other people before he helped himself," Ripley said.

Sharp's friends will also host a balloon release to honor Sharp at Connally High School on Sunday at 7:30 p.m. 

To help the family with funeral costs, click here.

Copyright 2018 KXXV. All rights reserved.

  • NewsMore>>

  • Director: FBI won't repeat mistakes noted in watchdog report

    Director: FBI won't repeat mistakes noted in watchdog report

    Monday, June 18 2018 2:40 PM EDT2018-06-18 18:40:23 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:43 AM EDT2018-06-19 06:43:22 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray wait to testify as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI's Clinton email probe and the role ...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, left, and FBI Director Christopher Wray wait to testify as the Senate Judiciary Committee examines the internal report of the FBI's Clinton email probe and the role ...
    The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department has a "serious credibility problem.".More >>
    The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee says the Justice Department has a "serious credibility problem.".More >>
  • Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

    Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

    Tuesday, June 19 2018 1:10 AM EDT2018-06-19 05:10:31 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:43 AM EDT2018-06-19 06:43:02 GMT
    (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite). The Capitol is seen in Washington, Friday, June 15, 2018. Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Tr...

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>

    Calls are mounting for President Trump to end family separations at the border ahead of a meeting with House Republicans.

    More >>
  • Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Compulsive video-game playing could be mental health problem

    Monday, June 18 2018 5:20 AM EDT2018-06-18 09:20:00 GMT
    Tuesday, June 19 2018 2:44 AM EDT2018-06-19 06:44:09 GMT
    In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)In its latest revision to an international disease classification manual, the U.N. health agency said Monday that classifying "Gaming Disorder" as a separate condition will 'serve a public health purpose for countries.' (Source: Pixabay)

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>

    The World Health Organization says that compulsively playing video games now qualifies as a new mental health condition, in a move that some critics warn may risk stigmatizing its young players.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly