2 drownings occur same day within hours of each other at Georgia river

BIBB COUNTY, Ga. — It was a dangerous weekend on the water after two drownings at a Georgia river.

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On Friday, around 12:16 p.m., Bibb County deputies and firefighters and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources were called to the Ocmulgee River Riverwalk to help with a possible drowning.

Witnesses told deputies that a man, later identified as Billy Scott Carter,33, and children were along the river trail and went for a swim.

Authorities said some of the children began showing signs of struggle against the current. Carter swam out to help the children to safety before witnesses lost sight of him.

Just before 1:30 p.m., crews found Carter’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Bibb County officials said all the children were safe and unharmed.


Later Friday evening, just after 6 p.m., the BCSO and fire crews responded to another drowning at Frank Amerson Park on Riverview Road at Ocmulgee River.

Witnesses told officials that they saw their friend, Eddren Chester,19, of Macon, go underwater and tried to help him. Authorities said after Chester went under a second time they couldn’t find him.

Macon-Bibb Fire Department dive team found and recovered Chester’s body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

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The Georgia DNR shares some ways to stay safe while swimming:

  • Always swim with a buddy, never swim alone.
  • Know your swimming limits and stay within them. Don’t try to keep up with a stronger skilled swimmer or encourage others to keep up with you.
  • Swim in supervised areas only. Drop-offs or other underwater hazards may not be detectable from above the surface.
  • Obey “No Diving” signs that indicate the area is unsafe for headfirst entries. Enter feet-first into the water rather than headfirst if you don’t know the depth.
  • If you are a marginal or non-swimmer, wear a life jacket.
  • Many lakes have life jacket borrowing programs – take advantage of these if you do not have your own.


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