DENNIS TWP. -
In Woodbine, a Wildwood man died Tuesday evening after drowning in a popular lake.
"They were always together, he tried to save him."
But sadly, 48-year-old Manuel Osoria's son wasn’t able to save him, after he had trouble while swimming in LakeNummy Tuesday night.
Carmen Osoria told NCB40, “He's always going to be loved - he's always going to be in our hearts.”
Hearts that are heavy, after the Wildwood man drowned in the LakeNummy at the BelleplainStateForest.
State Park Police responded to the lake just after 6:00 Tuesday night, after family members called 9-1-1.
A passerby saw the Wildwood man in distress, in the middle of the lake, and tried to help along with family members - but their efforts weren't enough.
One family member told NBC40, "He was here yesterday in the morning and he came by and he said he would be back in a little bit…and he never came back. He decided to go to the lake. He was a happy person."
Officials say divers from the Downe Township Rescue Squad pulled Osoria from the water at 8:38pm, and he was pronounced dead at the scene.
"He was a great person. He was willing to help anybody that needed help. He didn't care who it was,“ explained Maria Osoria.
Just hours after the incident, the lake officially opened to swimmers for the first time during the week this season.
Signs warning swimmers of the dangers and telling them it wasn't allowed were posted when Osoria went in.
On Wednesday, people swimming in the lake said Osoria shouldn't have been in the lake in the first place.
Kristene Velez said, "He should not have been out there, just shouldn't have been out there. He took a risk, and well, when people take risks sometimes these things happen."
Thomas Holland is a Millville resident and said, “The lifeguards weren't here so I don't even think he should have gotten past the checkpoint to be honest."
Swimming is permitted on the north side of the lake from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day, while guards are on duty.
And whether it's at LakeNummy or any waterway, officials urge you should only swim in front of a lifeguard.
Swimming hours starting today at LakeNummy are from 10am through 6pm.
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