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Valley Mills man drowns in Lake Whitney while boating with family members

Posted at 3:43 PM, Aug 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-13 16:43:48-04

LAKE WHITNEY — A Valley Mills man drowned in Lake Whitney over the weekend while boating with family members.

According to Game Warden Brian Srba, around 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 11, 64-year-old Richard Melton of Valley Mills was on a pontoon boat with three of his family members in Lake Whitney, just south of Katy Bridge, when he jumped into the lake to cool off.

At that time, there were moderately strong winds that pushed the boat away from Melton. The boat was having engine issues and was unable to move closer to Melton.

Game Warden Srba said Melton attempted to swim back but began struggling and went under the water.

The Hill County Sheriff's Office, Texas Parks and Wildlife Department canine, aviation, and dive team, Army Corps of Engineers, and Hill County Precinct 2 Constable came out to search for Melton.

Melton's body was recovered around 11 a.m. on Tuesday, August 13. He was pronounced dead by Precinct 1 Justice of the Peace Martis Ward.

Game Warden Srba said Melton was not wearing a life jacket. Game Warden Srba told Central Texas News Now boaters should always have a square throw cushion available to throw into the lake in case a swimmer starts to struggle.