A day at the lake apparently turned tragic Wednesday. Witnesses at Sherando Lake said a man drowned and died there.
Rescue squads were seen leaving the area while the Forest Service shut it down to most traffic.
Witnesses said two men at the beach noticed a man was struggling in the water, and then they ran in to help.
The rescue effort continued on shore.
Christie Smith, who helped with the effort, said seven or eight people worked to resuscitate the stranger on the beach for about thirty minutes.
There are no lifeguards on duty at the lake.
The man has not yet been identified or confirmed dead, but that witness said they could not save him.
She said he victim was an older man and that she heard the incident may have been health-related.
According to the witness, the rescue attempt was a team effort.
"When I got here a lot of people just started working on him. So, I helped with that," Smith said. "A lot of sorrow. You can tell there will be a lot of heartache tonight."
Smith says everyone on the beach pitched in, whether to help with CPR or just keep kids clear of the area.