Fire department rescues 86-year-old man after 4 hours in Beaufort County water

Published: Apr. 30, 2017 at 7:23 PM EDT|Updated: May. 1, 2017 at 1:37 PM EDT
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(Source: City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department)
(Source: City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department)

BEAUFORT CO., SC (WTOC) - The City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department rescued an 86-year-old man who had been clinging to a tree for four hours in the water.

Officials say that a little after 12 p.m. on Sunday, firefighters responded to a report of somebody yelling for help from the marsh area near Hampton Inn at 2342 Boundary Street.

It is reported that customers at Applebee's heard the man crying for help, so they informed an Applebee's employee who then called 911. The employee was not able to give an exact location of the victim.

Officials arrived on scene and found the victim holding onto a limb and trying to stay above water. The tide was high at that time.

Firefighter Brett Johnson swam out to the man, approximately 20 feet away, and brought the man back to shore.

"And he stated that he had been in the water for approximately 4-5 hours," said Johnson. "So at that point I got down into the water with him and somewhat cradled him and somewhat cradled him and walked him back to the shore. When I got out there to him and it made me think of my own grandfather in the water and how I'd want somebody to be there to help him also."

Officials began to perform emergency medical care on the man after he said that he had been in the water for over four hours.

Firefighters stabilized the man and then used low angle rescue equipment to lift him up a 15 foot embankment. He was then taken to the hospital by Beaufort Count EMS with non-life threatening injuries.

Officials say the man was rescued within minutes of being found and within 15 minutes he was brought up the embankment.

The units who responded include City of Beaufort/Town of Port Royal Fire Department, Beaufort County EMS, City of Beaufort Police Department and the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.

At this time they still don't know why the man was in the area or how he got into the marshy waters.

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