Rope swing, tree removed after man drowns in Farmington Pond

Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-22 14:00:31-04

FARMINGTON, Utah -- A major change happened Wednesday at one of Davis Counties most popular swimming spots following a drowning.

Tuesday night the body of 23-year-old David Senatus was found in Farmington Pond.

His friends say he dove into the water using a rope swing and disappeared shortly after.

On any given summer day there are more than 100 people cooling off at the pond.

Mia Nash and her friends swim there just for the rope swing, which would take you soaring out into the middle of the lake.

"The adrenaline rush I guess, just going into the water, and it's just something to do here," Nash said.

However, Nash was startled to look across the pond Wednesday and see that the swing and the cottonwood tree it was tied to were gone.

"I was really excited to come swing off it today, and to see it torn down was kind of upsetting," Nash said.

The city of Farmington decided to cut down the tree as soon as they heard about the drowning.

"We had a near-drowning about a month ago in very similar conditions, and we had other injuries on the tree before, we had people complain about the tree," City Manager Dave Millheim said. "Obviously we felt that if we removed the tree we would maybe discourage any reckless behavior."

Davis County said Senatus swung off the tree into the 20-foot deep water, and then attempted to swim with friends to the other side of the pond. It was during that swim that he cramped up, went under and drowned.

"I'm sick over the fact that a young man lost his life," Millheim said.

However, some swimmers say you can't blame the tree or the swing, and they add that there are signs that say, "swim at your own risk."

"I don't know if that's going to stop people from using the pond, obviously, I mean there are people out there swimming; it just sucks that it's not there anymore, but it's not going to stop people from being out there," said Sam Loveland of Orem.

"We are not going to encourage or support any behavior that could potentially cause a problem for anybody," Millheim said.