‘Great athlete’ and ‘model student’ dies trying to swim to boat from shore, NC cops say

A North Carolina high school senior died Monday in a drowning accident.

Steven Plummer, a 17-year-old student at Hayesville High School, was swimming from shore to a boat and began struggling. His friends saw and tried to help but didn’t get to him in time, according to a news release from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

A student called 911, and “every emergency resource available in the county” responded, the sheriff’s office said.

“Hayesville Schools Superintendent along with teachers and staff as well as County Manager and School Board members were all on scene assisting emergency personnel with the mass of students and families that turned out in one of the largest support efforts seen,” the sheriff’s office said in the release.

The drowning occurred on Lake Chatuge, WLOS reported.

The Towns County Dive Team later found Plummer’s body in the lake, about 200 feet from shore, according to the sheriff’s office.

“Clay County has lost a friend to all who knew him, a model student, a great athlete and all around fine young man and citizen that wasn’t able to call Hayesville home for nearly long enough,” the sheriff’s office said in the release.

Plummer had been offered a scholarship but was planning to join the Army after high school, according to his obituary.

His funeral will be in Amityville, New York, the obituary said.

A GoFundMe was created to help pay for funeral expenses.