A 33-year-old Springfield man was found dead Sunday evening in the Ogeechee River after he jumped from the steel bridge on Georgia Highway 119 near the Bulloch-Effingham county line, according to the Bulloch County Sheriff's Office.
Bulloch County patrol deputies responded to the bridge at 5:25 p.m. Sunday for the report of a swimmer who had jumped in and not surfaced, Sheriff Lynn Anderson said in a news release issued Monday.
Deputies requested assistance from Bulloch County fire and EMS personnel, along with Georgia Department of Natural Resources rangers. At 7:10 p.m. rangers found William Young's body in the river, Anderson said.
The body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation's Coastal Regional Crime Lab for an autopsy, which is scheduled for Tuesday morning.
Anderson said it does not appear that foul play was involved in Young's death, but the sheriff's office Criminal Investigations Division is investigating.
Anyone with information should contact Investigator Walter Deal at (912) 764-1788 or submit an anonymous tip to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anderson asked anyone visiting the Ogeechee River to use caution and not jump in from bridges.
He noted that with high water levels caused by this summer's heavy rains, many objects in the river were dislodged, and jumpers could easily be struck by a floating or submerged object.
Anderson added that the higher water level increases the current, making it more dangerous.
Bulloch County Public Safety Director Ted Wynn said the Ogeechee is expected to reach flood stage at Rocky Ford by Friday, but he did not think the river level was a factor in the drowning. Rocky Ford is the closest Bulloch County location for which the river level was available.
He advised that swimmers follow basic swimming safety rules and "enter unknown waters feetfirst and cautiously."
Wynn added that people should dive only in areas declared safe for diving.