Young Man Drowned Saturday Afternoon At Fillingim Landing

August 23, 2020

A young man drowned at Fillingim Landing near Barrineau Park Saturday afternoon.

Nathan Barnes, 22, reportedly dove into the Perdido River in the area of a rope swing and did not resurface. First responders later located him on the Alabama side of the river and brought him back across to Florida for medical treatment. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.

The death investigation was conducted by the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Office.

Escambia County Fire Rescue, Escambia County EMS, Escambia County Sheriff’s Office, Escambia Search & Rescue, Florida Fish & Wildlife and LifeFlight were among the responding agencies.

Fillingim Landing is a Northwest Florida Water Management recreation site located on the Pedido River off the 2800 block of Jacks Branch Road, just north of Lathram Chapel Methodist Church. photos by Kristi Barbour, click to enlarge.


29 Responses to “Young Man Drowned Saturday Afternoon At Fillingim Landing”

  1. Gabriella Burklund on April 9th, 2021 4:50 pm

    please pray for our family we are still having a bad time realizing this has happened. miss you so much big brother you will always be in my heart. love you

  2. Nathan’s mom on August 29th, 2020 5:28 am

    I want to say a special “thank you” to everyone who helped look for Nathan, who stayed by me and held my hand and prayed with me for him, the first responders, my sister and nieces, my fiancé, the police and EMS workers, the many men, women and children who witnessed this horrible accident and prayed and dove in. My goodness I won’t ever forget hearing all the voices yelling for Nathan to come back to us while they were doing CPR. I won’t ever forget the teamwork. I’ll never forget the prayers. Also thank u to everyone who has reached out to our family since last Saturday. I will be burying my son today. I know the Lord will help me through this just as He did on that last day with Nate. For those who wonder, this was his last jump of the day and every other had been feet first. You never know when it’s your last jump. More importantly than feet first, make sure you are ready for your last jump. Ready for what is after this life. If you don’t know Jesus as your savior, please do so today. I love y’all.

  3. S. Bennett on August 25th, 2020 9:23 pm

    My heart goes out to the Nathan’s family and you are in my prayers. My son was fishing in the area of the accident with a friend when they heard the commotion and went to the scene. Both my son and his friend are in training in the USAF at NAS and have had some water rescue training. When they arrived they threw down their gear without hesitation and dove in. The current was pretty strong and the water murky but they were able to find Nathan, and with the help of several others, get him to shore and up the steep embankment where they performed CPR until medics arrived. I only heard about this incident last night as my son was hesitant to tell us. I’m guessing because of the risk involved. I have to say my heart beat rapidly hearing the story and I’m incredibly grateful he is okay, saddened he was unable to save Nathan, but proud he took the risk to try and help another human being. Thank you to all who were present and valiantly worked together. Again, to Nathan’s family, who were present and witness to this nightmare scene, I am so very sorry for your loss.

  4. Paxton on August 24th, 2020 1:10 pm

    My prayers go out to the family, it was my friend and I that started CPR until ems arrived. I wish i could learn more about this young man.

  5. Hunter Connell on August 23rd, 2020 7:05 pm

    Went to school with him great guy Rest In Peace

  6. Courtney Calder on August 23rd, 2020 4:18 pm

    Nathan u will be truly missed. I remember a time when i was up set and u just brighten my day. Me and my kids dad where fighting and u walked out side and asked if i was ok. I said know because at that time did want u know about my problem since i watch u grow up with my brother. But know i look back i am glad day i saw u in walmart to make sure i talked u little did i onow that was last time i was going to see u little borther. Fly high

  7. J D on August 23rd, 2020 1:54 pm

    Prayers and the Lord’s guidance for all family and friends involved. Im 46 and been on Perdido all my life in boats , tubing, canoeing, and camping. For all the people in the area that isn’t familiar with Perdido River please use due caution when participating in activities here. This person we lost had been here on this river a bunch. The river changes real fast. So use caution at all times even for us that have been here on the river forever.

  8. @fisherman on August 23rd, 2020 1:21 pm

    @ fisherman….That is great advice. Always let those u care about know how u feel. Bc u never know when time is up. But when u r young , u don’t think about losing friends like this. It makes it worse when they are young, healthy and playful. Then BOOM., they gone..It’s not like when someone is older and sick, and u can try to prepare. Even then, it’s not easy. So the advice u gave is really something that can help. When u know, they knew how much I cared.

  9. Keera on August 23rd, 2020 12:51 pm

    I did not have the pleasure of knowing Nathan but I seen him there almost every Sunday with my son, family and friends. A huge thank you to everyone that responded so quickly when we found out what was happening. Not one person hesitated to try and help, you are selfless people and disserve blessing for your courage. To Nathan’s family I’m am so sorry for your loss and I hope you find peace in the coming hard times. My prayers are going to you, and will continue for you always.

  10. The Godwin’s on August 23rd, 2020 12:10 pm

    This is such a horrific tragedy to such a beautiful family! Our hearts go out to them! Sending Our thoughts and prayers to them during this difficult time!

  11. Kathy Byrd on August 23rd, 2020 10:23 am

    My prayers go out to this family! I didn’t know him but my heart hurts knowing that a Parent has to bury their child. I do know we all have out time We are all on loan and we all have a number we just don’t realize when it will be called the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away may this family find peace in the Lord God bless you all so sorry for your loss

  12. fisherman on August 23rd, 2020 9:49 am

    What I wouldn’t give to have another day with you.
    JJ so many people say the same thing when tragedy strikes them.That’s why you should always tell your family and friends that you love them as you never know if that will be the last time you see them. I know this from experience as the last time I had an argument with my brother he left saying I hate you and he was killed in an accident that night and that statement made over 50 years ago is still with me today. I do know in my heart he didn’t mean it. So folks make sure you let the people around you that you love them and never let them leave you angry.

  13. fltom on August 23rd, 2020 9:30 am

    So sorry to read this. I’m not passing judgement, just passing on my observations. Just last weekend, while visiting the Boardwalk on Pensacola Beach, my wife and I witnessed numerous teens and pre-teens jumping and diving into the shallow waters from the public pier. There are signs warning of the dangers and that it is a violation to do so, but no enforcement. Please teach the children…Obey the laws and “feet first first time” ALWAYS.
    I lend my Prayers to the family and friends of this young man, and mourn your loss.

  14. Zach on August 23rd, 2020 9:28 am

    Me and my brother both lost a great friend today, we are all devestated by his death, we will all miss hin dearly. He was a very funny guy always making jokes and just trying to make you laugh all the time,i will surely miss him and so will everyone who got tho know the man, rest easy brother we love you Nathan.

  15. Tabby on August 23rd, 2020 9:14 am

    @Farm Hill—You can’t even say feet first, first time. Perdido fluctuates dramatically, sometimes dropping five feet in a single day. The logs under the water may trap other logs for a time. Where you may jump from the rope swing feet first one time making you think it’s safe, may not be the exact spot you jump next. Perdido is dangerous. I’ve seen a few broken necks, broken backs, bones, stabbings, etc on that creek. Those bends have 30′ deep holes or more in spots. And it’s usually the lifelong residents I’ve seen injured there.
    Prayers for this child’s family.

  16. Brad on August 23rd, 2020 8:43 am

    Prayers to the family for the loss of their loved one. thank you to everyone who tried so hard to help, and to the first responders who gave it their all.

  17. Larry Lewis on August 23rd, 2020 8:30 am

    So sorry for the lost of this young man may peace be with the family an love ones

  18. Rasheed Jackson on August 23rd, 2020 7:36 am

    Terrible! prayers for all involved, and especially the family.

  19. Farm Hill on August 23rd, 2020 6:52 am

    My son and his friend took a kayak to Fillingim Landing there yesterday afternoon. My son’s 16 yr old friend was helping to find the young man. He has been swimming there in the past and says there are logs under the surface there that you cannot see. This young man that drowned yesterday probably hit his head first and may have been unconscious. This is a tragedy. The water can be lots of fun, but please remember the old cliche “feet first first time”. We are praying for his family at this time of sorrow.

  20. Madelyn on August 23rd, 2020 5:53 am

    He will be missed, we loved him so much, this day broke my heart along with the rest of my family. The people who helped us were such a blessing. God was with us all. He worked through those people to touch us and care for us in any way possible. I want to thank the lady who held me as I witnessed this. God bless!

  21. JJ on August 23rd, 2020 2:14 am

    Today I lost one of my best friends. This isn’t fair and doesn’t make sense. What I wouldn’t give to have another day with you.

  22. Katina Fontana on August 23rd, 2020 1:29 am

    What an aweful tragedy. May peace be with his family n friends n God comfort their hearts. Amen

  23. Sharon on August 22nd, 2020 11:51 pm

    Today was a sad day. I was there, trying to assist in any way possible. One young man I spoke with afterwards was one of the several diving and searching for him. He and I prayed for him and his family on site and this young man said it best, “All we can do is pray so good will come out of this horrible loss” Please pray for his family, friends and those who assisted. Just so incredibly sad…..I’ve never witnessed such horrible sadness and helplessness by so many.

  24. kadence burklund on August 22nd, 2020 11:17 pm

    This is a horrible thing.. please keep us in your prayers he’s gonna be missed by his family..

  25. Judson on August 22nd, 2020 10:05 pm

    Went to school with him. Great guy. He will absolutley be missed

  26. Jdub on August 22nd, 2020 9:57 pm

    Prayers for the family. So sad & tragic.

  27. MC on August 22nd, 2020 9:21 pm

    RIP Nathan, you will be truly TRULY missed.

  28. Cynthia Diamond on August 22nd, 2020 9:07 pm

    I pray for this young mans family. 2 of my adult children and 2of my grandchildren were there at the time. Both my children and a friend were searching for and eventually found the young man. Prayersfor them would be appreciated as this was very traumatic for them all!

  29. Kim on August 22nd, 2020 7:10 pm

    Lord, please be with the family of this young man.. Amen

Have a comment on this story?

We welcome your comments on this story, but there are some rules to follow::

(1) Be Nice. No comments that slander another, no racism, no sexism, no personal attacks.

(2) No Harrassing Comments. If someone says something bad about you, don't respond. That's childish.

(3) No Libel. That's saying something is not true about someone. Don't do it.

(4) Keep it clean. Nothing vulgar, obscene or sexually related. No profanity or obvious substitutions. Period.

(5) reserves the right to remove any comments that violate our rules or we think to be inappropriate. We are not responsible for what is posted. Comments may not appear right away until they are approved by a moderator.

(6) Limit your comments to the subject in this story only, and limit comments to 300 words or less. Do not post copyrighted material. Comments will not be added to stories that are over 30 days old.

(7) No posts may advertise a commercial business or political group, or link to another commercial web site or political site of any kind.