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Officials Say Drowned Teen Never Jumped from Bridge, Just Swimming with Family

WEEKI WACHEE – Yesterday, RNRF reported the drowning death of a 16-year-old boy who was found floating a few hundred feet away from Rogers Park in the Weeki Wachee River.

Officials initially believed that the teen jumped from a bridge and never resurfaced, however, witnesses say that was not the case.


The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office has revised its findings in the following media release:

On 05-30-16 at approximately 3:26 p.m. two Hernando County deputies were on proactive patrol in the area of Rogers Park located at 7244 Shoal Line Boulevard in Weeki Wachee.

The deputies were assigned to patrol the area for any illegal activity such as: bridge jumping, illegal use of alcohol in the park or on the river, monitoring the safe operation of kayaks, canoes and motorized vessels, etc., when they observed a male attempting to climb to the top of the bridge to jump off.

Suddenly, the deputies were notified by individuals on the beach at Rogers Park of a teen who had entered the water and had not resurfaced (separate incident – not the same individual deputies observed climbing upon arrival).  Witnesses told deputies that the 16-year-old male, identified as Jacob P. Sayers, had been playing in the water for most of the day with several family members.

Initially, it was believed that he (Sayers) had jumped from the bridge due to the fact that at least one witness was motioning toward the bridge and that another individual was climbing the bridge.  This led first responders to believe that Sayers jumped from the bridge; however, Sayers did not jump from the bridge.  It is unclear how Sayers entered the water.

Sayers and the others were playing with a ball.  Sayers went into the water after the ball, swam for a bit, went under the water for a short time then resurfaced onto a small sandbar and appeared to be catching his breath.  Sayers then reentered the water continuing his efforts to retrieve the ball; however, he went under the water, not resurfacing until being observed by residents.

While family members and park patrons were searching for Sayers, residents on Circle Drive spotted him floating in the water.  Sayers was pulled ashore approximately 100 yards from Rogers Park.  Bystanders performed CPR until the arrival of Hernando County Fire/Rescue.

Jacob Sayers was transported to Oak Hill Hospital where he was pronounced deceased by physicians.

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  • This story is very fishy. People, even kids have swam at Rogers park for YEARS AND YEAR AND YEARS and never ever has a current been strong enough to pull anyone down.. Especially long enough to drown them. Yes, crazyy freak accidents do happen and this could have been one of them. However, officials stated someone climbed to the top of the bridge and jumped at the same time sayers went under… Hmm. Someone is trying to cover something which really shouldn’t. People need to know when you break the law, you are putting your life at risk. Which sayers most likely DID jump, sooo many people do it every single day.. Rogers park isnt really the safest place to begin with. I send my prayers to this family, in the end, a child was lost way too soon and a mother is having to suffer.

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 1:12 pm
  • Media Manipulation BAY NEWS 9 IS AWAITING YOUR IN PUT ON THEIR SITE. RIP YOUNG MAN. Now you can watch over your family.

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 1:04 pm
  • Media Manipulation… If you don’t like the way the news is reported here by whatever sources Tom uses. JUST GO AWAY> change the channel. He is a great asset to this community .

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 1:00 pm
  • You are all WAY to hard on Mr. Lemons. He simply reports the news as it is relayed to him. I see him always correct stories as facts become more clear.
    He simply reports what is stated to him by his sources. THAT IS WHAT A REPORTER DOES!!
    If you do not like his “style”, why do you read his website?

    I am so sorry to hear of the passing of this young man, but the inaccurate reports of jumping from the bridge were not made up by Mr. Lemons. He was simply reporting what the “Witnesses” reported seeing.
    If you all want to be angry, be angry with the idiots who told authorities “I was there and seen him jump from the bridge”. Don’t hate on Tom.

    To the Sayers family, I am so sorry for your loss. I could not fathom what you are dealing with right now. May God help you find the peace you need at this difficult time.

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 11:16 am
  • A life cut too short, his family is suffering. Life is bigger than comments on a story- I hope and pray for strength for his family. What a tragedy

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 11:09 am
  • My prayers go out to the family, God bless????RIP jacob??

    Wednesday, 1 June 2016, 12:13 am
  • Thank you so much for all your comments that was my little cousin.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 11:30 pm
  • So what’s your response tommy? You have been called out on your many errors. Putting news out that is unconfirmed. Purposely riling up your blog readers. Not apologizing for your taking pride in going unchecked. Will you finally admit your a guy with a website who posts accident reports and talks to dispatchers for your “leads?” You are not a reporter. I see I’m not the only one who thinks this. You hurt family members and friends with your irrrsesponsible actions. And for those who say, why troll in this site if I don’t like what I read? Someone needs to tell tommy the truth.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 10:53 pm
  • I think the point that was being made is all of the ignorant comments made at yesterday’s news story thinking the boy died after jumping from the bridge the comment was not being made how he passed. So quick to judge others when he was simply enjoying time with family.
    Prayers go out to all of his family and friends? So sorry for your loss. RIP young man

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 10:42 pm
  • My thoughts and prayers go out to the Sayer family and friends. God Bless you sweetheart. May you Rest in Peace ♡

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 7:58 pm
  • Prayers for this family RIP Jacob such a tragidy

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 7:05 pm
  • I took my husband to Oak Hill with an emergency. We arrived to find his family in the waiting room, as soon a I heard what happened I immediately started crying. So, so sad! His mom was a mess, I cannot imagine what she is going thru. The other person is right, it doesn’t matter if he had jumped or not!!!!! A great kid was lost! RIP young man!!! Wish I had the privilege of knowing you!!!

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 5:47 pm
  • So sad I was there with my Family when this happened it really made me think how Quickly something Tragic could happen Prayer’s sent out !!!
    Please do something with this Bridge maybe Electric Fence … 🙁
    People think before you Leap

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 5:41 pm
    • he didnt jump did you not read? and electric fence over and connected to a big body of water where people swim ? seriously think electricity and water.. hmmm whats going to happen when water splashed or it rains heavy and current flows or a piece is accidentally touched or wild life lands on it or it malfunctions. the county would be opening themselves up for a massive lawsuit on so many levels. i mean why not have laser guided heat seeking missiles in case some one penetrates the jump area portion of the bridge. that will stop em from jumping. think for once in the end a young man lost his life and its a tragedy but Im sure we can all learn from this. We need to better look out for one another and maybe nobody knew his swimming abilities or it was a freak accident ie he hit his head on a rock. Terrible event any way you spin it. Life is full chances from most anything we do. My compassion and sympathy to his family.

      Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 8:38 pm
  • Just heartbreaking I’m so sorry for all his family and friends may you find peace in prayer

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 5:26 pm
  • He was the coolest friend I could ever ask for. I can’t believe he’s gone so soon. RIP Jacob. #flyhigh65. ???❤?

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 5:04 pm
  • I knew Jacob, he was a close friend of mine. I’m gonna miss him so much.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 4:39 pm
  • who cares if he jumped from the bridge or not he DROWNED !!!!!!!

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 4:17 pm

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 3:58 pm
  • Such sad news…I’m so sorry for his family. Rest well Jacob.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 3:42 pm
  • WEEKI WACHEE – Yesterday, RNRF reported the drowning death of a 16-year-old boy who was found floating a few hundred feet away from Rogers Park in the Weeki Wachee River.

    Officials initially believed that the teen jumped from a bridge and never resurfaced, however, witnesses say that was not the case.
    There you go All You negative idiots!, I hope now you offer apologies for all your negative crap!!!, He didn’t jump, he drowned just playing. RIP.
    And Tom, You should NOT permit this negative crap, have some creative knowledge to allow only Decent remarks with your of Reading these Crap posts and comments from your UNINFORMED Following. Letting this Fighting constantly go on your site is just ridicules, Have better control of this site that started out good, reporting the news, now it’s just a place for idiots to voice stupid a$$ comments.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 2:47 pm
    • You are so correct, these responses should be banned. Plus the news should check and recheck their sources before publishing the news. Imagine how these poor parents feel losing their child. May God Bless the family of this young man.

      Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 6:37 pm
  • It’s so heartbreaking to read this.
    My deepest sympathy to his family & loved.
    May God comfort you & give you peace.

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 2:46 pm
    • Our thoughts & prayers are with you.

      Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 2:48 pm
  • R.I.P ? my heart thoughts and prayers go out to your family and friends. Spread your wings and fly high little man ?

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 2:43 pm
  • RIP Young Man…Prayers for his Family and Friends

    Tuesday, 31 May 2016, 2:29 pm

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