Fall Creek Drowning

21 year old could not swim

Lee Rogers
July 04, 2018 - 9:02 pm

Oconee County Emergency Services


Oconee County Emergency Services released the following informantion Wednesday on a drowning at Fall Creek.

Oconee County Emergency Services

A 21 year-old Greenville man died Wednesday afternoon from drowning. 

This incident occurred at approximately 4:45 pm on Lake Keowee at Fall Creek Landing near Salem. 

His body was recovered a short time later; despite resuscitation efforts, Vikash K. Patel, 21, of Greenville, was pronounced dead at 5:35 pm. 

It was reported by friends of Mr. Patel, he was attempting to wade across the channel to the popular island known as “The Rock” when he stepped off the sandbar/shelf into deeper water. 

It was reported Mr. Patel could not swim; Mr. Patel panicked and despite rescue efforts by his friends, he disappeared beneath the water surface. 

His body was recovered in a water depth of approximately 19 feet.  

His manner of death is classified as accidental. 

The recovery operation involved the following units:

Salem Fire and Rescue


Oconee Dive Team

Oconee Emergency Services

Vineyards Fire Dept (Pickens Co) 

Oconee County Sheriff’s Office 


Oconee County Coroner’s Office

The Fall Creek area of Lake Keowee is a popular destination in Oconee County.  In 25 years serving as Coroner, there have been 17 deaths in this area of the lake within the jurisdiction of Oconee County, a number of them occurring when individuals attempt to cross by swimming or wading the channel over to the island.   The distance across the channel is further than it appears from the mainland and the water is deep on either side of the sandbar / shelf that crosses this channel. 

This office recommends the use of a personal flotation device by all when crossing this channel especially if you have limited or no swimming capabilities. 

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