Swimmer Who Drowned in Congaree River Identified

The swimmer who drowned over the weekend in Columbia has been identified.

COLUMBIA, SC (WLTX) - Authorities have identified the swimmer found dead in the Congaree River Tuesday, after a multi-day search for the missing man.

Fredrick Ochieng Babu, 35, of Andrews, SC, died at approximately 11 a.m. on Sunday, June 18, 2017, according to a statement released from Richland County Coroner Gary Watts. An autopsy shows that Babu died from asphyxiation due to drowning in the river, Watts said.

A group of four people were swimming in an area of the river between the Gervais Street Bridge and Blossom Street Bridge Sunday when they were overcome by the water. One of them was able to get to some nearby rocks, while two others were rescued by a person who saw that they were in trouble.The fourth person, Babu, went under the water and wasn't seen again.

Dive teams and boats searched until dark Sunday, aided in the search by a helicopter. By mid-Sunday evening, the decision was made to stop when there was no more daylight. The crews searched again Monday, without success.

Search crews recovered the body from the Congaree River at approximately 5:20 p.m. Tuesday near downtown Columbia in the same area where Babu went missing.

 

© 2017 WLTX-TV


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