Body of missing man recovered Wednesday after boat capsized in Savannah River on Saturday

Coast Guard suspends search for missing boater in Savannah River, other agencies continue search

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - UPDATE, Wednesday, April 14, 2021 - The body of the missing man has been found, according to Linda Smith, the mayor pro tem of Port Wentworth, Ga.


UPDATE, Monday, April 12, 2021 - The U.S. Coast Guard says it suspended the search for a missing man on the Savannah River at approximately 8:45 p.m. Sunday night pending further information. USCG is expected to release more details soon.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Chatham Marine Patrol are continuing their search on Monday, according to Sgt. Cindy Miller of the Law Enforcement Division of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The department, which is the lead agency on the search, intends to continue its efforts every day from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. for the foreseeable future.


The search and rescue efforts for a missing man in the Savannah River have turned into a search and recovery effort for his body, according to Sgt. Miller.

The boat capsized Saturday evening near the Colonial Oil Dock, located along the Savannah riverfront, west of the Talmadge Bridge in an industrial area.

The boat is believed to have entered the river at Houlihan Boat Ramp in Port Wentworth. The boat then struck an unmanned barge in the river around 5:00 p.m., and three people were ejected from the vessel, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit in Savannah and Sgt. Miller. Officials have confirmed the three people are a family from Hardeeville, S.C.

A boat capsized in the Savannah River on Saturday evening. Rescue efforts are underway for a missing man.
A boat capsized in the Savannah River on Saturday evening. Rescue efforts are underway for a missing man. (Source: U.S. Coast Guard Southeast)

Nearby crews rescued a woman and a child from the river, according to the U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit. Savannah Fire administered aid to the rescued woman and child after Chatham Marine Patrol transported them to a vessel at Savannah Fire’s dock.

The child was transported to a nearby hospital, according to Chuck Kearns, chief of Chatham Emergency Services. Both the woman and child are in good condition, according to a tweet from the U.S. Coast Guard.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources’s Critical Incident Reconstruction Team is also processing the boat and investigating the cause of the accident, according to Sgt. Miller.

Chatham Marine Patrol, Savannah Fire and the U.S. Coast Guard have participated in searches on Saturday and Sunday. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter flew above the Savannah River for much of Sunday aiding in the search.

The search paused at midnight Sunday morning and resumed at 7:00 a.m. The search paused again at 8:00 p.m. on Sunday evening and resumed Monday morning at 7:30 a.m., according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

This is a developing story. WTOC will provide updates as they come available.

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