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WHITE CITY, Ore. — Search & Rescue teams were scouring Agate Lake on Tuesday after witnesses reported that a man had drowned there the day before.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said that it was notified of the possible drowning at Agate Lake just after 5 p.m. on Monday. When deputies arrived at the scene, witness told them that a family had gathered in the swimming beach area on the west side of the lake when one man began struggling in the water.
"One of the adult men from the group was swimming approximately 40 yards from shore," JCSO said. "He began calling for help, but he went under water before others could reach him."
Friends and family members who spoke to NewsWatch 12 identified the missing man as 32-year-old Jeremy Moore, a father of three.
Witnesses said that just 20 minutes after the family arrived, Moore swam out into the lake to retrieve a child's float toy that had drifted away, but the wind continued pushing it farther out. Moore reportedly began calling for help when he became too tired to return to shore.
"He didn't come back up, and he was yelling for me to help him," said Racheal Metcalf, Moore's fiancée.
Local firefighters, marine deputies, and Search & Rescue teams continued searching the lake until dark on Monday before the search was suspended overnight. Rescue teams from both Jackson and Klamath counties returned on Tuesday morning to continue those efforts.
"There's a lot of amazing people out here right now — really good people," said Steven Smith, Moore's best friend. "They're doing what they can . . . they have the drones, the hikers, four boats out here with sonar, and divers . . . they're doing an amazing job."
Friends of the Moore family have started a GoFundMe page to raise money for his daughters and fiancée.
"Please let’s give whatever we can to help them through the hardest time of their life," wrote organizer Noelani Crumley. "Jeremy was a true ray of sunshine and an amazing father, the world won’t be the same without him but please show his family how kind and supportive we can be by helping his family. Hold your love ones tight."
The search for Moore's body was still underway as of Tuesday afternoon.