The man, whose name has not been released, was swimming with five friends at the Augusta Sailing Club in Appling when the group tried to reach a buoy about 50 yards from the roped-off swimming area at West Dam, Columbia County sheriff’s Capt. Steve Morris said. All five friends made it to the buoy and returned, but the victim went under and didn’t surface.
The sheriff’s office was notified at 6:12 p.m., dispatch said. Water rescue crews were sent to the scene at 6:16 p.m.
The man was pronounced dead at 8:04 p.m., Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins said. The body will undergo an autopsy at the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in Augusta on Tuesday.