Drowning Victim's Mother Warns of Swimming Dangers - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Drowning Victim's Mother Warns of Swimming Dangers

It was nearly 16 years ago that Brenda Simms' daughter, Ashley Watson, went swimming with friends at Edgewater Park.

"The water was calm.  They were in water to their waist.  Next thing you know I got a phone call that they couldn't find them," said Simms.

Four went in the lake, only two came out alive.  None of them could swim.

Twelve year old Ashley and 13 year old Bobby Zunick drowned.

"The water was nice.  It was calm, but an undertow just sucked them under," she said.

When Simms learned of recent drowning victims Lonnie Smith, and Nic Shaffer, she once again relived the pain of losing her own child.

And now, with the search suspended for the missing teenaged swimmer in Ashtabula, she fears that family will suffer the same fate.

"It gets easier but you don't forget," she said.

Simms won't go near Edgewater Beach anymore.  But she knows plenty of other children will this summer.  And she warns parents, no matter what the conditions, to stay close.

"They're at arms length at all times, absolutely...no deep water," said Kiera Funchess, as she played with her two young children.

"I think parents need to be more cautious about kids going out by themselves.  Even if they know how to swim, mistakes happen.  Better safe than sorry," said her husband Lorenzo Funchess.

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