Clayton County

Woman warns others to wear life vests after losing her husband, son to drowning

CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. — As the weather warms up and more people head to the water for some outdoor fun, one family is warning others to wear life jackets.

Vicky Harris and her family are grieving the loss of a father and son who drowned while fishing over the weekend.

Channel 2′s Tom Jones visited the family in Clayton County. The family said the two men were excellent swimmers, and because they knew how to swim, they thought they didn’t need their life vests.

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Harris is heartbroken after two of the loves of her life, her husband Calvin Harris Senior, 55, and their son Calvin Harris Junior, 32, drowned.

“I don’t have my best friend. My son. It done took everything from me,” Harris said.

Harris said she, her husband, and their son loved to fish. They have been fishing at a private pond near Brockton Road in Jackson County for years.

Harris’ husband always wanted a boat and bought one off Facebook.

“When he bought the boat Saturday, he said he was determined to take that boat Sunday to try that boat out,” Harris said. “When I got in, it was like the boat was like wobbly.”

Harris said they all got in the boat that day, but she quickly got out. She also said she had on her life vest, but her husband and son didn’t wear theirs.

“They said they didn’t need no vest. They didn’t need the vest because why? Cause they could swim,” Harris said.


Harris said soon after, her husband fell out of the boat. The Department of Natural Resources said the boat capsized, and it quickly filled with water.

Harris’ son tried to swim to the bank, but he went under the water. She said her husband tried to help his son, but that’s when he went under the water, too.

Harris won’t forget how divers pulled their lifeless bodies from the pond after they went under on Sunday. This tragedy has left the family in a lot of pain.

“It’s hard. It’s just hard. How can I stay strong when my daddy and my brother is gone,” Tymeisha Harris, their daughter, said.

A family relative said it was a tragic loss.

“This is a great loss. It’s a great loss. My brother was a great man,” Carolyn Peterson, a relative, said.

The family also didn’t think the boat was ready.

Harris has a message for families because she doesn’t want anyone else to go through what they are going through.

“Wear your life jackets. Wear them. Even though you the best swimmer there is. Put them on. Put them jackets on,” Harris said.

Both the father and son will be laid to rest on Saturday.

You can assist the family with funds on their GoFundMe, HERE.

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