20-year-old swimmer who died at McKinney Falls identified

Police search for a missing swimmer who was later found dead at McKinney Falls State Park. June 23, 2017 (KXAN Photo)
Police search for a missing swimmer who was later found dead at McKinney Falls State Park. June 23, 2017 (KXAN Photo)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — Police have identified the man who died while swimming at McKinney Falls State Park last week.

James Peng, 20, was swimming with friends in the park’s Upper Falls swimming hole when he went under and didn’t resurface.

His friends searched for him in the water — 18 feet at its deepest — and called first responders to the scene at around 6:25 p.m. Friday, June 23. The fire department’s Water Rescue Task Force went into recovery mode and found his body a few hours later.

In January 2016, 26-year-old Samuel Westerfeld died after jumping into rapid water at the park after his dog slipped in. Neither resurfaced. The state park then created an emergency alert system, similar to an emergency button you’d find on university campuses.

In the six years before the January 2016 incident, there had been six drownings at the park.

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