Teens drowning raises safety questions at Twin Lakes Park

The drowning of a Traverse City teenager has raised questions about the safety of swimmers at Twin Lakes Park.

The drowning of a Traverse City teenager while swimming with friends at the Twin Lakes Park has raised questions about the safety of the lake.

Owen Williamson's death is the third drowning incident in the last four years at the Twin Lakes Park. Incidents in 2010 and 2011 involved a 19-year-old and 17-year-old, respectively.

"It's such a small lake and it doesn't get a whole lot of people swimming there so it seems like a high amount of drowning for a tiny lake," said Jason Jones, Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation Director.

The park, which is owned by Grand Traverse County, is waiting for an investigation by the Sheriff's Department to be complete before determining if there is anything connecting the incidents.

"As far as what we can do and what we understand of the lake right now, it's a safe park for people to use," Jones said.

Park officials say it's important that swimmers understand their abilities, and the abilities of their friends, so they don't get "over confident" with what they can do in the water.

"We are checking to see if there are any precautions the county can take to be proactive to prevent drowning at Twins Lakes and the rest of our parks," Jones said.

Williamson was swimming with friends when officials say he became distressed and began to call out for help. Witnesses and friends were unable to reach him before he went underwater.