11-hour search ends with body's recovery

  • Follow Metro

The body of an Augusta man who authorities say likely drowned Wednesday after being thrown from a boat on Thurmond Lake has been found.

Back | Next
Elliott Rivers: 19-year-old was boating with friends on the Fourth of July when he was thrown out after the boat made a sharp turn.  File/Staff
File/Staff
Elliott Rivers: 19-year-old was boating with friends on the Fourth of July when he was thrown out after the boat made a sharp turn.

Divers located the body of the missing boater, Elliott Edgars Hamilton Rivers, 19, at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday after 11 hours of searching, said Columbia County Emergency Services Director Pam Tucker.

Dive teams from the Richmond County and Columbia County Emergency Management agencies conducted the search.

Mr. Rivers was boating with friends about 4 p.m. Wednesday when he was thrown overboard as the boat made a sharp turn near the area of Lake Springs Park and Tradewinds Marina near Thurmond Dam, Mrs. Tucker said.

Authorities narrowed their search to an area 100 yards long by 100 yards wide and 35 to 60 feet deep Thursday, she said.

Authorities discovered damage to the propeller of the boat that Mr. Rivers was in, Mrs. Tucker said.

Though friends described Mr. Rivers as a good swimmer, it is possible he was struck by the propeller after being thrown from the boat, she said.

Mr. Rivers graduated from Westminster Schools of Augusta in 2006 and had been an active member of First Presbyterian Church of Augusta, according to a statement released by the church's pastor, who also is chairman of the Board of Trustees at Westminster.

"As a covenant child of First Presbyterian Church and an alumnus of Westminster Schools of Augusta, Elliott was an integral part of our faith community," Dr. George Robertson said in an e-mail.

He also played soccer for Westminster and was honorable mention on The Augusta Chronicle 2006 All-Area Soccer Team. Mr. Rivers enrolled at Georgia Southern University after high school.

He is the son of Cary and Madeline Rivers, and has five brothers: Chris, Todd, Oliver, Charles and Jesse.

Columbia County Bureau Chief Preston Sparks and reporter Rob Pavey contributed to this report.

Reach J. Scott Trubey at 706-868-1222, ext. 109, or jeffery.trubey@augustachronicle.com.

Comments (25) Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
pantherluvcik
628
Points
pantherluvcik 07/06/07 - 06:20 am
0
0
Sad ending to such a short

Sad ending to such a short life. My heart goes out to the family.

ka32te8
0
Points
ka32te8 07/06/07 - 08:26 am
0
0
I knew both this family and

I knew both this family and Elliott personally-they are a wonderful, loving family who deserve the support they have always given others in times of need.

debby
12
Points
debby 07/06/07 - 09:02 am
0
0
I am so sorry for your loss.

I am so sorry for your loss.

wink
0
Points
wink 07/06/07 - 09:21 am
0
0
So very sorry for your loss.

So very sorry for your loss.

travelp
31
Points
travelp 07/06/07 - 09:23 am
0
0
The Rivers have had a

The Rivers have had a tremendous influence in my life and words cannot express the gratitude I have for them nor the sympathy I wish to convey. Elliot will be missed dearly. We love you and are praying for you.

RestoreDowntown
0
Points
RestoreDowntown 07/06/07 - 09:25 am
0
0
Elliott Rivers was one

Elliott Rivers was one incredible young man. Although he was 15 years younger than me, I considered him a very close friend. He was a very skilled soccer player and was a joy to watch on the field. He was an integral part of several Westminster State Championship teams and his teammates wanted to be more like him. I had the priveledge to play soccer with him many times and watch him grow up under his loving family. Cary and Madeline loved him like we all want to be loved. I do not know why the Lord calls some of His children to Himself so early in life, but Elliott most certainly lived his life to the full. His glass was always half full and he truly walked through this life with an inner happiness that was very contagious. We all should be comforted knowing that he is happier now that he is with his Lord and Savior. The Rivers know that Elliott was a believer and can rest in the arms of the same Father that Elliott is now worshipping. Please pray for Cary and Madeline and the boys. As a father of 4 boys I cannot fathom their loss.

I truly miss Elliott and I pray that my own boys live their life with the joy that Elliott did.

kudzunroses
2
Points
kudzunroses 07/06/07 - 10:25 am
0
0
...

...

heres14u
1
Points
heres14u 07/06/07 - 11:00 am
0
0
Our prayers go out to your

Our prayers go out to your family and friends...
What a terrible tragedy.

dani
12
Points
dani 07/06/07 - 11:13 am
0
0
My prayers go out to you and

My prayers go out to you and your family, and to his many friends.

Andrew Hammer
0
Points
Andrew Hammer 07/06/07 - 11:48 am
0
0
My heartfelt thoughts and

My heartfelt thoughts and prayers go out to the whole Rivers family. You have been such a positive influence on so many peoples lives. I am sure that Elliot is in a better place looking don on all of us. Our thoughts and prayes will be with you through this tragedy.

arunner
0
Points
arunner 07/06/07 - 11:59 am
0
0
My prayer is for our God to

My prayer is for our God to give the Rivers family the peace that passes understanding. The Rivers Family has always been one of the most gracious families that I have ever known. Their love for God and his people is something to be admired and copied. From Job 1:21b: The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord."

rotags47
0
Points
rotags47 07/06/07 - 12:16 pm
0
0
From Bob MacLeish, Sr.

From Bob MacLeish, Sr. Orlando, Florida

OUR PRAYER IN TIME OF SADNESS

Father, we come to you in the name of Your Son Jesus, acknowledging You as our refuge -- our stronghold in times of sorrow and grief.

In the shadow of Your wings, we take refuge, praying that you hear our cry for help; deliver us out of our deep distress, Father, for we are broken-hearted and are sorely grieved.

By your grace, and with the help of the Holy Spirit within us, we will surely triumph.

These things we pray to You, O Lord, with Madeline and Carey and the Rivers children and Family in our minds, our hearts and our prayers,

AMEN.

aj
0
Points
aj 07/06/07 - 12:38 pm
0
0
This is just terrible. My

This is just terrible. My prayers go to the family and friends. There's going to be so many more. Please be careful.

rducap
0
Points
rducap 07/06/07 - 12:46 pm
0
0
Our prayers go out to your

Our prayers go out to your family. We pray that God will comfort you during this time.

alawabidingcitizen
0
Points
alawabidingcitizen 07/06/07 - 12:57 pm
0
0
My prayer for the Rivers

My prayer for the Rivers family at this time is from 2 Cor. 1:3-4, a verse that has encouraged Sandie and I during difficult times, "Blessed be the God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforteth of God." Though I did not know Elliot well, Charles is like a son as he has been a very good friend to my son James, and he has a heart of gold. My prayer again is that God will give them the grace to endure this trial and pray that God will continue to bless this very special family.

russgladd
0
Points
russgladd 07/06/07 - 12:59 pm
0
0
Elliot was a good kid with

Elliot was a good kid with natural leader great potential. He played soccer and basket (church league) with great poise and leadership. Elliot introduced himself to me- new coach the night of the 1st game - saying, "I'll go where you need me sir." He will be missed. Prayers & peace for his loving family, friends and for the others on the boat that day.

russgladd
0
Points
russgladd 07/06/07 - 12:59 pm
0
0
Elliot was a good kid with

Elliot was a good kid with natural leader great potential. He played soccer and basket (church league) with great poise and leadership. Elliot introduced himself to me- new coach the night of the 1st game - saying, "I'll go where you need me sir." He will be missed. Prayers & peace for his loving family, friends and for the others on the boat that day.

GET REAL1
1
Points
GET REAL1 07/06/07 - 01:21 pm
0
0
to the rivers family, i am so

to the rivers family, i am so sorry for your lost. i hurt as if this had happened to a love one of mine. u all are in my prayers.

shamrock
502
Points
shamrock 07/06/07 - 01:46 pm
0
0
I didn't know Elliott but he

I didn't know Elliott but he was a good friend of two of my nephews. My heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family at the horrific time. May God give all of you the strength to endure the pain of this tragic loss.

marie21
5
Points
marie21 07/06/07 - 02:31 pm
0
0
I am praying for the Rivers

I am praying for the Rivers family and the extended Westminster School family. May you rest in the knowledge that Elliott is in our Father's arms. We also pray for David Hogan.

Steve McKinney
0
Points
Steve McKinney 07/07/07 - 10:16 am
0
0
I send my love and prayers to

I send my love and prayers to Cary, Madeline, the brothers, grandparents, and the Westminster School community who have been stricken by this terrible tragedy. May God's love give you peace and the strength to endure. May His blessings be with you all.

greenbaggins
0
Points
greenbaggins 07/08/07 - 09:24 pm
0
0
As one of Elliott's teachers

As one of Elliott's teachers in his younger days, I have spent hours with him and his family. He was a loving boy with a great deal of depth, intelligence,and leadership ability even while young. Each of the Rivers have influenced my life in so many positive ways. I look upon my 2 1/2 years of being frequently in their home as a time in which I learned at least as much, and possibly more than, the four boys I taught. I grieve with the family and love them. Sarah

bndazy
0
Points
bndazy 07/09/07 - 02:29 am
0
0
Our thoughts and prayers are

Our thoughts and prayers are with your family right now. We never met Elliot, but his brother Charles worked for us and it pains us to see those we care about experience something like this. May you find comfort and closure in, and one day understand, that where Elliot rests now is a much happier place, and I am sure he is smiling down on his family. Peter and Kelly Purko.

redapples
660
Points
redapples 07/09/07 - 06:48 am
0
0
God bless your family during

God bless your family during this time. Many are praying for you.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 07/10/07 - 09:16 am
0
0
I never met this family but

I never met this family but from all the accolades it seems as if they are God's very definition of "family". Being God's family will help to bring them through this terrible time of sorrow. No doubt they will learn of the many lives that were touched by Elliott. Now it is the privilege of others of us who are a part of the family of God to hold them up in prayer. God certainly knows and understands the pain of
losing a Son.

Back to Top

Search Augusta jobs