IREDELL COUNTY, N.C. -- A popular Iredell County swimming spot was the scene of a tragic drowning accident Tuesday morning.
Ryan Jamal Hayes, 19, was looking forward to an afternoon of fun at the rock quarry pond at Carrigan Farms, located off Oak Ridge Farm Highway.
"They walked in right before us and they looked pretty happy. It was just four teenagers just going to jump off rocks. They were taking pictures," said Hunter Watson.
He came with his family to celebrate his sister's birthday. Around 11:30 a.m. rescuers said Hayes jumped off the rocks for the third and final time.
"I thought I heard somebody yell. I thought it was help, didn't know if they were play yelling. Looked over, didn't see anything, didn't see any splashing, nothing," said Miranda Sanchez, a witness.
She said that no one realized there was a problem at that point, but minutes later -- when Hayes didn't surface -- everyone jumped in to look for him.
"So I asked them to go get the lifeguard and a bunch of parents jumped in and was throwing goggles in and everything, but the water is very murky and 25 feet deep so we didn't have any luck," said Meg Watson, Miranda's mother.
NBC Charlotte's partners at the Charlotte Observer report that Hayes was a sophomore at North Carolina State University, majoring in computer science.
Iredell County deputies are still trying to determine why he drowned.
Carrigan Farms posted the following statement on their website Tuesday afternoon:
We are devastated by the loss of life today, June 11th2013. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the deceased. We ask for your prayers during this difficult time and also ask that the privacy of those grieving be respected. Our hearts are broken.