Newspaper Executive’s Son Dies at Summer Camp

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The 18-year-old son of a newspaper chain executive died in an apparent swimming accident at a summer camp where he was working as a lifeguard, the camp’s director said Monday.

Ryan Dickerson, who died Sunday, was the son of Lynn Dickerson, a vice president for operations for McClatchy Co., which owns 31 daily newspapers, the Sacramento-based company confirmed Monday.

Dickerson had been working at Camp Champions outside Marble Falls for eight days, camp director Steve Baskin said. On Sunday afternoon he was awaiting campers in about 3 1/2 feet of water at the bottom of a slide going into the lake. Two counselors who were with him had gone back to their own stations, Baskin said.

When the two looked back and didn’t see him, they assumed he had gone to change clothes or to the restroom, Baskin said. The counselors, who were about 50 feet away, then realized Dickerson was in the water.

Efforts to revive Dickerson failed, Baskin said. The cause of death is not yet known.

“The world lost one of its best in Ryan Dickerson, a young man who had already achieved so much and possessed boundless potential,” said Gary Pruitt, president and chief executive officer of McClatchy Co.

Baskin said Dickerson was a certified lifeguard and a water polo player.

“It was a horrible, terrible freak occurrence that does nothing to reflect on him as anything other than an outstanding young man,” Baskin said. “Our thoughts and prayers are going out to Ryan’s family.”

Marble Falls is about 50 miles northwest of Austin.

Baskin said it was the first-ever death at the camp, which is in its 41st summer.

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