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2 drownings in Ware Shoals at Pitts Memorial Park

Two men drowned in as many days in the swift waters of the Saluda River after entering the water at Irving Pitts Memorial Park in Ware Shoals.

The Laurens County Coroner’s Office identified both men Wednesday morning.

According to reports, leaders at the Ware Shoals Police Department were conducting a TV interview at the park when the second drowning occurred about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The victim has been identified at Bernard Dimtri Mason, 19, of Greenwood. His body was recovered around 6:40 p.m. after a search that lasted about an hour and a half.

A little over 24 hours earlier, rescue personnel had been on the Saluda River searching for a victim from Laurens who has been identified as Saul Diaz Luna. Luna, 43, reportedly fell into the water around 2:40 p.m. Monday.

Officials said neither victim could swim and were overtaken by swifter-than-expected currents and a strong undertow.

Pitts Memorial Park had been closed leading up to the Memorial Day weekend due to recent heavy rains that had swollen the Saluda River and increased currents. Officials said the park is now closed again until further notice.

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