Drowning victim was wearing boots, heavy clothing

Sunday, May 31, 2009 3:40 PM
Last updated 8:01 PM
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An Augusta teenager who drowned in the Savannah River on Saturday was wearing a jacket, heavy camouflage pants and military boots when he jumped into the water, Richmond County Deputy Coroner Johnny McDonald said today.

Mr. McDonald said Stephen Fishel, 16, and a friend jumped into the water on the Georgia side of the river and were swimming out toward a sandbar called Goat Island when Stephen turned and began to head back in the opposite direction. He made it as far as the weed line when he went under about 1:30 p.m., Mr. McDonald said.

Stephen’s body was recovered by the Richmond County Fire Department and Dive Team hours later. He was pronounced dead at 5:33 p.m.

Stephen's body was found at a depth of about 8 feet, Mr. McDonald said.

The body has been sent to the GBI Crime Lab in Atlanta for an autopsy Monday morning.

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Just My Opinion
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Just My Opinion 05/31/09 - 05:23 pm
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Wow, to know your son lost

Wow, to know your son lost his life because of poor judgement, and to also know that he was so close to making it before succumbing to the weight of the clothing and his fatigue. How very, very sad.

shugirl
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shugirl 05/31/09 - 07:54 pm
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This is truly a tragic loss.

This is truly a tragic loss. My heart and prayers go out to the Fishel family.

butterflygina
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butterflygina 05/31/09 - 08:46 pm
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This is so sad. We will be

This is so sad. We will be reading about more of these drownings this summer. I would think someoe dressed in a jacket and boots were attempting suicide. But I'm sure in this csae it was a teenager just trying to have fun. Praying for the family.

Aliyah
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Aliyah 05/31/09 - 09:28 pm
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Our prayer and condolance to

Our prayer and condolance to the family.We lost our son 9 years ago in a drowning.Boys will be boys so Please becareful what you say.It is going to be very hard for the family and his friend espcially the young boy he was with.so hold this family up in prayer they will all need it.

curly123053
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curly123053 05/31/09 - 11:25 pm
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My prayers go out to all

My prayers go out to all involved here.

GnipGnop1
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GnipGnop1 06/01/09 - 01:22 am
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I tell my boys all the time

I tell my boys all the time not to swim in the river. The water is cold and you always think you can swim farther than you actually can. My thoughts and prayers to the family.

themaninthemirror
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themaninthemirror 06/01/09 - 05:01 pm
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After taking a pleasure

After taking a pleasure cruise up Savannah River from the Stevens Creek Dam last year, there is no way I would attempt to swim in the river. My wife and I were on the river with some friends of ours, and he had a depth finder on his pontoon, and in the middle of the river, the depths would drop from six feet to 30 feet in a split second. And to think, I took a conoeing course at ASU several years ago, and the majority of our time was spent on the Savannah River.

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