Popular swimming hole in Missouri site of recent drowning deaths

FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. - Two St. Louis men have died in separate incidents within a month at a popular swimming hole near Fredericktown, Missouri.

They happened at a place called The Offsets.

Pictures showed divers from emergency response organizations representing Cape Girardeau, Jackson County, and Sikeston in Friday’s recovery of the body of 21-year-old Savion Livingston.

A 19-year-old St. Louis area man died there July 4.

Presiding County Commissioner Robert Mooney said he believes as many as eight young people have died at the swimming spot in the past two decades. He said he has tried to get something done.

“I called a lot of different state agencies and asked if anything could be done,” Mooney said. “I was told because it was on private ground and a privately-run business, nothing could be done.”

A man at the front gate of The Offsets said he would not comment out of respect for the dead.

Mooney said the place has been sued in the past, but the lawsuits were unsuccessful.

“Each individual who goes there to swim signs a waiver saying that the owners are not responsible for anything that might occur,” he said.

Mooney said a state representative told him petitions to shut the place down are now being circulated and will be forwarded to the Missouri Attorney General’s office. The sheriff had some advice for the owner of the offsets.

“They need to hire lifeguards and I would recommend each person entering the water have some type of personal flotation device,” said Madison County Sheriff Katy McCutcheon.

The sheriff said in the past there had been fighting and alcohol problems at The Offsets, but she said those problems went away more than a year ago.