Dive team finds body of missing swimmer in Grady County - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Dive team finds body of missing swimmer in Grady County


By LeiLani Golden - bio | email

GRADY COUNTY, GA (WALB) –Around 4:30 Monday afternoon, divers found the body of a man who drowned while swimming in the Ochlocknee River Sunday night.

36-year old Felton Moore got caught in the current around 7 last night, went under, and never surfaced.

Bad weather forced rescue crews to call off their search earlier than planned Sunday.

We were there when they picked back up Monday morning.

At 9:30 Monday morning, the first rescue diver slid into the water to resume the search for 36-year old Felton Moore. Only now, the divers searched for a body.

Sunday afternoon, Moore, his teenage daughter, a brother and a couple friends went swimming at a popular hangout off Dickey Ferry Road.

"This is a local watering hole where folks have been coming to swim for years and years," explains Det. Lisa Maxwell, the dive master of Thomas County's Underwater Rescue & Recovery team. "Anytime you come out to a place like this, you're swimming at your own risk."

Moore, a weak swimmer, decided to wade farther into the river.

"He just stepped off where it was deep. All of a sudden he just went under and went out there, never came up. No bubbles or nothing," says Moore's best friend and witness to his drowning, Winford Hall.

Another friend tried to push Moore above water.

"But he was just limp with his head down. He came back down like this, like a dolphin or something. He didn't try to get any air or nothing," Hall recalls.

A heavy thunderstorm forced rescue teams to quit searching for Moore until the morning. Now, friends and family must anxiously await any closure.

"They said it would take 30 minutes to find him, but it's been hours now and they hadn't found him yet," says frustrated friends and family.

Because the dive team is in recovery mode, they're taking their time. They want to make sure the divers don't get entangled in any of the fishing line, debris, or tree branches on the river bed.

"We do not get in a hurry," Maxwell explains. "We don't want to endanger our divers or put anybody else at risk of an emergency. The cell phone service is almost none. If something goes wrong, you're looking at a long time before you can get help down here. If you're not a good swimmer, don't get in the water here. It's not worth your life."

A warning that came too late for one family.

Crews from several counties helped with the search.

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