Officials have released the name of a Des Moines teen that drowned at Raccoon River Park Monday.
Police say 17-year-old Kevin Kong was at the West Des Moines beach with friends and went under while swimming beyond the designated swimming area.
Witnesses say Kong shouted for help, but by the time help arrived it was too late.
“It appears they were beyond the blue and white safety buoys, they were attempting to swim out to the no wake buoy, one of the white ones that you see in the water. At some time that they were beyond that rope, the individual did get into some type of distress,” said West Des Moines Fire Marshal Mike Whitsell.
A few hours after the incident Kong’s friends and family gathered at Raccoon River Park beach for a vigil, in memory of the teen.
There is no lifeguard at Raccoon River beach. West Des Moines Parks and Rec officials say the water is too murky for a lifeguard to be of any major assistance and might actually provide a false sense of safety.