Wed., August 4, 2010 5:13pm (EDT)

Officials Stress Dangers of River Swimming
By Alexandria Jud
Updated: 4 years ago

SAVANNAH, Ga.  —  
Authorities say that swimming in the Savannah River is dangerous because of slippery rocks, deep drop-offs and unpredictable currents. (photo courtesy of chotideb)
Authorities say that swimming in the Savannah River is dangerous because of slippery rocks, deep drop-offs and unpredictable currents. (photo courtesy of chotideb)
A Columbia County teen drowned in the Savannah River on Monday after being pulled under while swimming. Now officials are warning the public about the dangers of river swimming.

Mike Chambers with the Columbia County Emergency Management Agency was the diver who found the body.

“The area is certainly too rough an area to have swimmers out there," Chambers says. "There normally is, of course, a lot of current, especially in the middle of the area. There are a lot of rocks, boulders… they’re very slippery. There are deep pockets in the area.”

Rebecca Rogers is with the Augusta Canal Authority. She says because of the Thurmond Dam, the river fluctuates frequently.

“Anyone is at risk in the shoals area," Rogers says. "The rocks are very slick. The water levels can increase quickly and unexpectedly because the flow of the river is actually controlled by releases from the big hydroelectric dam.”

The dam is about 14 miles upstream from the site of the drowning.

Earlier this week, seven teenagers died in Louisiana while playing in a river.