16-Year-Old from Mississippi Drowns During Church Trip to Alabama Lake

Authorities say a Mississippi teenager drowned while on a church outing in Alabama.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said in a statement that the 16-year-old drowned around 6:30 p.m. Saturday at Lewis Smith Lake in north Alabama. Al.com reports that Cathy Davis, the head of Oak Hill Academy in West Point, Miss., identified the teen as Thomas Lee Bales of Aberdeen, Miss.

Bales was about to start his junior year at the private Christian school on Monday. Bales’ father is on the school’s board.

Davis said Bales was on a church trip to Smith Lake when he died.

This marks at least the second drowning at Smith Lake this summer. A 62-year-old man drowned last month while swimming off a boat dock.