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.
Stephens 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.