Stone County Coroner reports drowning death

STONE COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - This is a news release from the Stone County Coroner's office

A 40 year old Mexican man drowned Saturday afternoon at Flint Creek Water Park in Wiggins, MS. Mr. Facundo Rivera Rivera and some of his friends were at the park Saturday afternoon on a recreational trip.

The group had been pic-nicking, playing around with a soccer ball, and doing some swimming near the jet ski launch area of the lake. Members of the group also state they had all been drinking as well.

Around 3pm, Mr. Rivera entered the water on an inflatable lounge chair float, and was not far from shore when last seen. He had likely fallen asleep, and somehow exited the floating chair into the water, which was around 6' deep. Friends were unclear as to whether Mr. Rivera could or could not swim, but did state that he had no medical problems they were aware of. When the float was discovered to be empty, the group began to look for him, even searching in the water, but were unable to locate him.

911 was called, and officials from FCWP, along with members of the Wiggins Fire and Police departments, MDWFP, and a Stone County Hospital Ambulance, responded to the scene. Efforts to locate Mr. Rivera failed, and the Gulfport Fire Dept. Dive Rescue Team was called to the scene. Divers located Mr. Rivera's body rather quickly, in about 6' of water near the area where he was last seen, and made the recovery.

Initial toxicology reports indicate that the victim was intoxicated, having a blood alcohol content of more than twice the legal limit for driving. Mr. Rivera had no immediate family here in the US, but officials with the Mexican Consulate in New Orleans have been notified to reach his family in Mexico.

He had been in the US since 2009, working for a local seafood company on the Coast, and lately for himself in the lawn care industry. This is the first fatal accident reported at FCWP in several years. With the summer months here, everyone is strongly advised to take every precaution for safety when on or around the water.