Jasper County Sheriff's Office investigating drowning - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Jasper County Sheriff's Office investigating drowning

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Jasper County Sheriff's Deputies are investigating a drowning that happened on Wednesday night.

Sheriff Gregory Jenkins said Jessie Wilson, 60, and his son was fishing in a stream off of Smiths Crossing when the man fell in the water.

Hardeeville Police Chief Sam Woodward said he was off duty and on his way home when Wilson's son flagged him down asking for help. Woodward said he didn't even think about it, he just jumped in.

Woodward said he was just a few miles away from his house when he notices Wilson's son standing in the road screaming "help me, I can't find my father."

The boy told Woodward he and his father were fishing. He turned his back for a second, and when he looked back, his father was no longer there.

"I went over the side of the bridge and dove in the water and searched for him and finally found him," said Woodward. "I was pretty surprised how deep it was. I thought it would be shallower than that at that little bridge, but it was pretty deep."

Woodward said his 28 years of training kicked in immediately.

"I swam around until I located him. I think what happened is he slipped in the water and got caught underneath some branches," Woodward said.

According to the sheriff's office, the man died at Coastal Carolina Hospital. Woodward said he wished he would have gotten to the scene sooner.

The sheriff's office continues to investigate, but Sheriff Jenkins said he believes this was an accidental drowning.

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