Accident Database

Report ID# 115876

  • Other
  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Near Drowning
  • Other

Accident Description

From Clay Wright on Facebook 4/4/2022

What a day in Columbus! Went to surf Ambush when this man appears, bouncing over the rocks in the middle clutching a bag. He's in jeans, boots, and a winter jacket despite the 70 degree weather, and disappears in the eddy below. Haley McKee and I ferry out and he yells 'help - I can't swim' but he's in that boily middle eddy and goes under again as we get there. I can see the tan jacket and white bag waving around under my boat, but can't reach down far enough to grab on, and soon the bubbles cloud him from view. We drift down following his path - hoping he'll surface before the big seam below.. and soon I see Haley bending over her bow struggling to stay upright - she snagged him! As she held him up from the seam, I bull-dozed them out of the current and we got him onto a rock in the middle of the river. Rachel Scheffe was ran back to call it in and 20 minutes later she was guiding an EMS raft crew down and ferring him to shore. I tried surfing again but we decided a cocktail at the Indigo bar might be a nice reward instead. The real reward was seeing the 4th unit pop on - and getting a sunset Monkey Wrench session followed by a BIG level Good Wave under the lights. You never know what the day will bring in Columbus, Ga.
Haley talked to him when I went across to talk to EMS, he thought the island by the wave ''looked like the garden of Eden' and he wanted to go to it. The whole thing was so sad - I'm not sure his confusion was from something that wears off. Fleece-lined Carthart jacket and jeans... we were in shorts.

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