Farm owner 'dove and dove' but couldn't save drowning man

COLLETON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - There's no cell phone service. No crowds. No schedules. Horseshoe Lake Farm in Cottageville, just off Highway 61, is a breath of fresh air from the world outside it's horse gates. But, on Sunday, the world inside those gates came crashing down.

"It's a horrible feeling of despair," said Dave Stanfield, who owns the farm and stable on the property. "I can't hardly breath out here right now."

Stanfield is still in disbelief. Just a few hours before the silence surrounding his stable was broken by cries for help, he met 28-year-old Daniel Manns with his girlfriend and 3-year-old daughter.

The stable owner says the trio set off on a 6-mile loop of Horseshoe Lake on horseback for a peaceful day.

"I worry about some of them that go back there and ride the trails but I never worried about him," said Stanfield, talking about Manns. "He's a cowboy. He was raised in Texas. He can ride a horse."

But it wasn't long into their ride when Stanfield says he heard Manns' girlfriend call screaming for help.

Stanfield and some of the help at the farm ran to the calls around the lake.

"I immediately knew something horrible was going on. She was screaming and pointing into the water." said Stanfield, who arrived a few minutes later. "She said he can't swim. Can't swim and cowboy boots are a difficult thing to be in the water with."

When Stanfield got to the water's edge he says everything, was once again, eerily quiet.

"It was still. The horses were out of the water. His hat was floating just a few feet from where she said he was and we dove and dove and couldn't seem to find him," said the stable owner.

Colleton County Fire Rescue crews say Manns fell from his horse into the water with the 3-year-old. His girlfriend was able to save the little girl but not him. Stanfield was the one who pulled Manns body out of the water 20 minutes later.

"It's horrible to carry someone out of the water," he said.

The Colleton County Coroner's Office said Manns, who was from Moncks Corner, died from drowning.

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