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Friend of Lake Travis drowning victim has a message for other swimmers

On Saturday, 23-year-old Rashaun Donaldson jumped off a boat and never resurfaced, according to officials. Divers found his body the next day, what would have been his 24th birthday. (Photo courtesy: Terry McFarland)

It has been a deadly summer on Lake Travis, as seven swimmers have either gone missing or drowned while on the water.

On Saturday, 23-year-old Rashaun Donaldson jumped off a boat and never resurfaced, according to officials.

Divers found his body the next day, what would have been his 24th birthday.

Close friend, Terry McFarland said Rashaun was more like a brother to him. He said his friend was always there for his family and friends.

"He's always smiling," said McFarland. "Always checking in on everyone. Making sure everyone is fine and doing good."

McFarland said Rashaun was adventurous, good at sports, and loved his family, cars, and shoes.

"He passed away doing what he loved, having a good time, enjoying himself," said McFarland.

Most of all, McFarland said he wants his friend to be remembered for his kind heart and smile. He said joy is what Rashaun would have wanted to leave behind.

"He was a happy person, so he would want everyone to be happy," said McFarland. "So, even if you didn't know him, try to stay happy and positive (in his honor)."

McFarland said Rashaun was a great swimmer, yet still succumbed to the water. He advises everyone to wear a life jacket, no matter their swimming skills.

List of 2018 Lake Travis drownings:

  • Manuel Salas, 53 of Elgin was reported missing on May 5, 2018 in an area of Lake Travis near Mansfield Dam Park (still missing).
  • Rachel Kathleen Scott, 25 of Round Rock was reported missing between Starnes Island and Volente Beach on May 19, 2018 (still missing).
  • Diego Humberto Cerda-Acosta, 30 of Austin was reported missing in the water near Bob Wentz Park on May 27, 2018. His body was recovered the morning of May 28, 2018.
  • Ricardo Sierra Martinez, 27 of Mexico was reported missing in the water near Bob Wentz Park on June 10, 2018. His body was recovered the morning of June 12, 2018.
  • Luke Fashaw, 36 of San Antonio was reported missing in the water in the Devil's Hollow area on July 28, 2018. His body was recovered the same day.
  • Juan Maldonado, 46 of Cedar Park was pulled from Lake Travis by friends after becoming distressed in the water on August 18, 2018. CPR efforts were unsuccessful and he was pronounced deceased the same day.
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