Man Drowns At Park – He Was Trying To Save A Dog

Published 12:00 am Thursday, July 18, 2013

By Mike Barnhardt
Enterprise Record

COOLEEMEE – A Salisbury man drowned here Saturday while trying to save a dog from the turbulent South Yadkin River.
His three children were also at the park, and witnessed the drowning. One son made an attempt to save his father, and made it back to shore, said Police Chief Bobby West.
The body of Steven Tanksley, 44, was pulled from the water near where he went under, about six hours after the incident.
West said that about 80 people were at the park, even though rains had turned the often calm water into a torrent, rushing over the dam and covering the rocks that normally can be seen in the river.
It all started when Emanual Christian, 24, of Statesville, attempted to walk across the dam with his dog. The rushing water was well onto his body, and the dog fell. Christian then  fell about 15 feet into the water.
Christian broke an ankle during the fall, and had grabbed onto a tree downstream and began yelling for help. Several people tried to get to him – but couldn’t.
When Tanksley saw the dog …