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Man recovered from river

Rescue crews had searched for him since Tuesday afternoon

Man recovered from river

Man recovered from river

Pvt. Devin Nations of the Burke Count...

The body of a man who drowned Tuesday in the Ogeechee River was recovered Wednesday afternoon.

Burke County Dive Team members pulled the body of Antonio Lee, 24, from the water about 10 feet from where he was last seen before going under, said Screven County Emergency Management Director and Fire Chief Harvey Cryder.

Lee, who had Down syndrome, was swimming with friends Tuesday when they tried crossing the river at Halcyondale Landing, said Bulloch County Fire Chief Christopher Ivey, who assisted in the search.

The search lasted Tuesday into the early evening, when divers abandoned the quest until dawn Wednesday. The river landing was quiet and still Wednesday morning when divers resumed the search for Lee's body.

Family members waited at the end of Halcyondale Landing Road, watching as search party members traveled down the miles-long dirt road off Georgia Highway that leads to the river.

Lee's body was found "right there where he was last seen, about 10 feet from where he went down," Cryder said. He added he was pleased the search was successful and did not take several days. "We were thankful we were able to put and end to it."

Bulloch and Screven county firefighters, sheriff's deputies, Department of Natural Resources rangers, Sylvania Marine and Rescue, Screven County EMS, Georgia State Patrol troopers and others searched for hours Tuesday afternoon and evening, scanning the Ogeechee River between Halcyondale Landing and Oliver Bridge.

Cryder expressed gratitude to all agencies involved in the search, including the Statesboro Fire Department, which sent its Café 1 unit to the scene to provide food and drink to searchers and Lee's family members.

Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.



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