Accident Database

Report ID# 94737

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Inexperience

Accident Description

Body of Kayaker Found in Georgia River 

April 27, 2020 

By Asia Simone Burns, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The body of a kayaker has been found days after he disappeared on the Ocmulgee River in Butts County, officials said.  The Georgia Department of Natural Resources recovered the body of De’vonte B. Griffieth about 2:30 p.m. Monday, according to spokesman Mark McKinnon. Griffieth, 23, of McDonough, was reported missing Saturday afternoon after he went underwater and did not resurface, McKinnon said.

On Saturday evening and Sunday, searchers walked along the banks of the river and divers used sonar equipment to try to locate the man. The river is higher than usual, and the swift current made the search more difficult, McKinnon said. Griffieth’s body was found in 19 feet of water near where he first went under, McKinnon said.

Monroe County divers find missing boater's body in Butts County creek

by Brittany Miller  Fox 24 ABC 16 WGXA

Monday, April 27th 2020

BUTTS COUNTY, Ga. -- DNR confirms they recovered the body of 23-year-old De'Vontae Griffieth, Monday afternoon. Public Affairs Officer Mark McKinnon with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, says Griffieth's body was found in 19 feet of water, not far from where he went under near Wise Creek. Monroe County divers located the body and DNR turned the body over to the Butts County Coroner. 

Monday marked the third day in the search of the Ocmulgee River for the missing kayaker.  De'Vontae Griffieth, of McDonough, was last seen on Wise Creek near Mt. Pleasant Church Road in Butts County. Griffieth was with a group of four other kayakers when his boat flipped over Saturday afternoon. Search and rescue crews received the call around 3 p.m. According to DNR Sergeant Travis Sweat, Griffieth could not swim. The group did have life jackets, according to authorities, but were not wearing them.

Crews were staged in Jasper County near Highway 83 to gain access to the river. DNR Public Information Officer Mark McKinnon says the search began at 7 a.m. Monday morning.

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