Authorities said Clifford Lee was swimming with his fiancé at Tucker Lake around 3:40 p.m. when they got into water that covered their heads.
Officials said neither could swim very well. The woman was able to make it back to shore, but Lee did not.
Other swimmers found Lee underwater several minutes later.
He was pronounced dead at Johnston Medical Center in Smithfield.
With information from Mickey Lamm/WTSB Radio