The waters off Eagle Point have long been a topic of conversation and conjecture. You’re not alone if you can remember being told the drop off is quick, severe, and it’s at least 80 feet deep. Add to that stories of a huge cavern, and currents that could suck you under into a cave. At very least, you may have been warned a swim off Eagle Point could go badly.
So what is the truth about the Eagle Point drop off? There are people who can tell you and don’t have to guess about it. Quizzing divers who have gone down with goggles, fins and air tanks bust some myths and add real life details to the story.
Cameras help reveal reality. To get at the truth, the Clark Lake Spirit Dive Team–brothers Connor and William Stewart–explored the drop off with a Go Pro to record what they observed. They started at the shoreline, headed north, and followed the steep grade to the bottom. They surfaced just short of half way to Pleasant View.
What did they find? Their initial encounter was the weed bed. Once past it, they saw a moonscape. At 21 feet deep, little vegetation covers the silty bottom. Watch as William and Connor poke a hole in the bottom and the bloom that results. Also listen for the sound of boats nearby. There have been discoveries and recoveries. To learn about them, continue reading…
In their dive at the Point, Jim Hall recalls his Divers Mast team found a small boat and a couple pontoons, the remains of a raft. Then, of course, there is the Big Boy saga. One morning the famed mascot was discovered missing at the Brooklyn Big Boy. It had been abducted as a prank and thrown into the lake, off the drop off, at Eagle Point. In November 2005, a Divers Mast crew found Big Boy. Kelly Kohn, Bob Kingsbury and Trent Mitchell brought it to the surface.
Photo courtesy of John Stewart and the Brooklyn Exponent.
Big Boy’s underwater adventure was tough on him. The mascot was hauled away by Jim Gouldsberry from Second Chance Antiques and Collectibles on US 12. He sanded it down, repainted, and restored it to its original glory. From there, according to Jim “someone from Indiana bought it and that’s where this particular Big Boy lives.” The Big Boy now standing guard in Brooklyn is the newer replacement.
Butch Fish has explored the bottom of the lake over the years. He notes “Rollo Every gave out lots of 45-rpm records at the roller skating rink at the Point. Some of them, along with Nehi pop bottles, found their way into the lake off the Point.”
Butch and Jim Swain found wooden spoke wheels about three feet high on an axle shaft. Butch also relates rescuing the engine from a jet boat. The boat had hit a wave at high speed causing it to disintegrate and to sink out from the gas dock. He latched a chain to the engine so it could be lifted high enough to dangle. From there it was towed to shore by raft.
Finally, Butch recalls a very unhappy dive when he was only 16 years old. A youngster from Jackson had drowned, but his body had not been recovered. Butch was asked to bring the victim to the surface. Perhaps it was because of sad stories like this that adults warned kids about the hazards of swimming off Eagle Point.
I dove a couple times with Jim just to see what it was like. The lake was much clearer then than it is now. It is a truly awesome world down under!!
I remember well the stories Butch Fish just told. He and Jim were both on the Sheriff dive team mostly for drown victim’s.