SMITH COUNTY, Tenn. – Officials said 19-year-old Patrick Masterson drowned at the Defeated Creek Swimming Area in Smith County on Monday afternoon.
The Smith County Rescue Squad said the call for help came in at about 12:45 p.m. on Monday.
Friends who were with Masterson told rescue crews they saw him start to struggle in the water, rushed in to help, but couldn't get to him in time.
Divers recovered his body just after 2 p.m. at the beach area, near the marina.
NewsChannel 5 spoke to several of Masterson's friends and family members. They were too shaken to speak on camera, but hope he'll be remembered as a loyal friend, a talented musician, and a fun-loving person who was always up for anything.
Masterson was missing a leg and several fingers when he was born. Still, friends said, he refused to let his disabilities hold him back.
He was the lead singer of a band called The Sarcastic Truth. Although you'd never know it when you see videos of him onstage, Patrick wore a prosthetic leg. Friends also said he was skilled at playing the guitar, despite not having all of his fingers.
Masterson was from Lafayette, but he'd previously visited the Smith County swimming spot on numerous occasions.
The Smith County Rescue squad found his body in 15 to 18 feet of water. Officials have not said what caused the teen to go under.
Friends told NewsChannel 5 that when his body was recovered, Patrick's prosthetic leg was found in a separate location.
They said he was a strong swimmer, and they have no idea what might've gone wrong.
Signs are posted at Cordell Hull Lake telling people to swim at their own risk because there are no lifeguards on duty.