BUCKEYE LAKE – Buckeye Lake resident William Remias III, 45, likely died of cardiac issues, not drowning, after he was pulled from Buckeye Lake Monday evening, a Licking County Coroner spokesperson said Wednesday.
Monday evening, part-time Buckeye Lake Police officer Andy Davis, who was off duty, pulled Remias to the North Shore boat ramp from roughly 50 yards out, but Remias didn’t survive. “It was really weird. No one knew what was going on,” said Davis, who, with his family, was pulling his boat out of the water at the North Shore Boat ramp around 6:30 p.m. Monday evening when he heard a swimmer yelling.
Davis said Remias didn’t sound like he was crying for help, just speaking loudly. Davis pulled a life jacket from his boat and tried to get a better look at who was yelling. Davis then donned the life jacket and swam to Remias.
“He was pretty far from the dock,” said Davis. “His head was out of the water and he was yelling something.” Davis grabbed Remias and dragged him toward the dock. About halfway back, Davis said Remias, whom Davis described as a larger person, began sinking and it was all Davis could do to pull him to shore. “His face was blue,” said Davis, who performed CPR on Remias until medics arrived. Unfortunately, Remias was pronounced dead upon arrival at Licking Memorial Hospital.
Davis believed Remias, who Davis believes lived near Crane Lake close to the North Shore boat ramp, swam out to retrieve a friend’s flip-flop from the water, however, “He was pretty darned far out there,” he said.
Prior to the coroner’s report, Davis said he “felt really bad” because the he believes he may have been able to save Remias if he’d swam to him sooner, but no one on shore seemed to know Remias was in trouble.