'I can't believe it:' Family wants security changes after teen drowned in Lake Guntersville

WAAY 31 spoke with the family after they went back to the spot where the boy died.

Posted: Jun 24, 2019 7:20 PM
Updated: Jun 24, 2019 10:23 PM

WAAY 31 heard on Monday from the family of a 17-year-old boy who drowned in Lake Guntersville.

The Marshall County Coroner's Office says Martin Sebastian was struggling to swim in water that was 8 feet deep. They say this is the first drowning this year on Lake Guntersville.

Sebastian's family members were praying and leaving flowers at the beach at Guntersville State Park on Monday.

"I can't believe it....like my brother, no," said Javier Sebastian, Martin Sebastian's brother. "God help my brother."

The family says he was with family in the water, but when he went out too deep and started yelling for help, it was too late.

"If my brother's standing in front of me right now, I'd just say, like, 'I love you brother,' and I'd be very happy," said Javier Sebastian.

On Sunday, Martin Sebastian, an Albertville High School student, drowned after trying to swim to a yellow barrier. It marks the furthest area in the water swimmers are allowed to go.

Family members said Sebastian could swim, but wasn't great, and when he started struggling, there was no help in sight.

"If I go swim right now, if I need help, there's nobody over here watching us or some security," said Javier Sebastian.

The family says they and other beach-goers tried to pull Martin Sebastian up, but he went under too fast. Now, the family is left with questions, wondering why no lifeguards oversee the area.

All that is at the beach is a warning sign that reads "No lifeguard on duty." WAAY 31 tried calling the state park lodge, but haven't received a response.

The family says they do not have enough money for a funeral right now. WAAY 31 sent a message to Albertville City Schools to find out if they are planning on helping. We haven't heard back as of Monday evening.

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