A man drowned Sunday after trying to swim across the Ogeechee River, said Bulloch County Sheriff Lynn Anderson.
Bulloch County Deputy Coroner Craig Tremble said Ernest Anthony Wimes, 24, Plantation Mobile Home Park, was pronounced dead at the scene at Oliver Landing around 5 p.m. Sunday.
Anderson said Wimes was with a group of others who camped on a sand bar at the river. They had been on the Screven County side of the river and several decided to swim to the Bulloch County side. Witnesses told sheriff's investigators Wimes appeared to “have trouble,” possibly cramping, and was having problems swimming once he reached the middle of the river.
A woman with the group tried to keep him above the surface, but was unable to do so and Wimes sank, he said. When he did not resurface, someone called for help.
Bulloch County EMS, as well as Bulloch and Screven County sheriff's deputies and Department of Natural Resources rangers, responded to the scene, and located Wimes' body near the Oliver Landing, he said.
Wimes' body is being sent to the Georgia Bureau of Investigations Crime lab in Savannah for an autopsy, Tremble said.
Anderson said Wimes and others were celebrating the 1-year birthday of Wimes' child over the weekend.
Holli Deal Bragg may be reached at (912) 489-9414.