Heartbreaking tragedy: 16-year-old drowns at Jordan Lake

Pittsboro, NC – A drowning occurred at Jordan Lake Sunday afternoon, claiming the life of 16-year-old Bryan Guzman of Winston-Salem. He was visiting Jordan Lake with his 18-year-old brother and a friend to celebrate a friend’s birthday.

The drowning occurred around 3:30 p.m. near Ebenezer Picnic Area A, located at 452 Ebenezer Rd., New Hill, on Sunday, May 26, 2024.

The 18-year-old brother called 911 to report that Guzman was in distress while swimming in a cove near the picnic area. The cove is not a designated swimming area.

In addition to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office, first responders included North Chatham Fire Department, Jordan Lake State Parks, and FirstHealth EMS.

The Chatham County Sheriff’s Office’s Victim Services Unit is working with the Guzman family to provide support and resources. Our team is dedicated to assisting families in coping with such tragic losses and ensuring they receive the care and support they need.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the Guzman family during this very difficult time,” said Sheriff Mike Roberson. “Our hearts go out to them as they mourn the loss of their son and brother.”

Sunday’s tragic drowning underscores the critical importance of water safety, particularly during busy holiday weekends like Memorial Day. We urge all visitors to Jordan Lake and other bodies of water to adhere to the following safety guidelines:

  1. Wear a life jacket.
  2. Swim only in designated areas.
  3. Supervise children closely.
  4. Be aware of water conditions and your surroundings.