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Recovery effort continues at lake

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By Robin Bass

The search for a missing Ft. Knox soldier continued Tuesday at Taylorsville Lake, after the 22-year-old man disappeared while swimming Saturday.

U.S. Army Spc. Anthony M. Carter was reported missing by acquaintances at 4:15 p.m. May 29 – exactly one year after the last drowning at the lake.

Witnesses told law enforcement that Carter swam to retrieve a floating soda can about 80 yards from their rented pontoon boat. The last time he was spotted, Carter was making his way back to the boat.

“There was no splashing. No call for help,” said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Scott Herndon, recalling statements of the four other soldiers and one civilian on the boat.

Witnesses told Herndon that Carter complained his blood sugar was getting low a short time before his disappearance.

“The soldiers were very helpful giving us directions where he was last seen,” said Herndon, crediting their military training.

But when rescue divers arrived at the scene, they encountered difficult search conditions. Carter disappeared in an area of the lake called Jack’s Creek – a location covered with standing timbers and brush, sometimes just below the surface.

“It’s very frustrating for all of us out here,” said Herndon.

By Sunday afternoon, the conditions were ruled too hazardous for the divers after one became snared by a tangle of branches and had to cut himself free. Recovery efforts now consist of dragging the murky lake waters.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Leandro Diaz arrived at Taylorsville Lake shortly after he learned one of his soldiers was involved in an accident. Diaz said he spent much of Monday morning with rescue workers.

“Right now everybody is shocked and surprised by this,” said Diaz. “All the guys in the unit send out prayers to the family.”

Diaz described Carter as “a great soldier. He’s a really great kid.”

A year ago May 29, rescue efforts were focused on finding 36-year-old Anthony “Tony” Reynolds who was reported thrown from the bass boat he was driving.

After six days of diving with limited visibility, authorities scaled back their recovery operation to boat patrols. The Shepherdsville  man’s remains were later found by a fisherman – nine days after Reynolds was last seen.

Carter, originally from Indiana, arrived at Ft. Knox in Nov. 2009 after serving for an unknown length of time with the Indiana National Guard’s 1613th Engineer Company in Afghanistan, said Public Affairs Officer Connie Shaffery. He was a member of the Warrior Transition Battalion, a division of the U.S. Army that prepares soldiers with any illness or injury for their return to active duty or transition into civilian life.

Shaffery would not disclose the injury or illness that resulted in Carter being transferred to the Warrior Transition Battalion because doing so would be in violation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPPA).