Chief: Edisto River drowning victim's feet tangled in underwater - Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

Chief: Edisto River drowning victim's feet tangled in underwater roots

Martin Capers, 16, reportedly drowned Sunday in the Edisto River (Source: GoFundMe) Martin Capers, 16, reportedly drowned Sunday in the Edisto River (Source: GoFundMe)

Tuesday an autopsy will be conducted on the Walterboro teen who reportedly drowned in the Edisto River Sunday.

The Colleton County Coroner identified Martin Capers, 16, as the young man whose body was pulled from the river.

A spokesman with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said Capers and others were swimming in the river at the Colleton County State Park when he never resurfaced.

“It’s a very tragic situation,” said Colleton County Fire & Rescue Chief Barry McRoy. “This is a really good local family. We understand the boy did really good in school.”

Authorities said Capers was a student at Colleton County High School. Messages for comment regarding Capers’ death were not immediately returned.

According to a Go Fund Me page, created by his presumed sister, Capers was swimming with his friends Sunday morning when he died.

Witnesses told authorities the teen had gone under the water and never came back up.

“We’re told there was a gentleman who jumped across from the other side of the river, swam to him, and made contact to him but was unable to pull him up,” McRoy said. 

McRoy said that happened shortly before someone called 911.

Multiple agencies from Colleton and Dorchester Counties responded to the scene around noon Sunday.

Divers located Martin roughly five minutes after entering the river.

“It appears his legs got tangled up in some roots under the water,” McRoy said. “There are a lot of trees along the edge of the water. That bank is always changing because there’s a lot of water flowing through there.” 

McRoy said they’ve responded to several situations along the Edisto River. He added in the last 10 years they’ve had at least 5 drownings along this general stretch of the river.

“It’s not a usual occurrence,” McRoy said. “It’s a really nice little park. It’s a state park, a lot of families go there for picnics and camping. It’s nice and quiet and peaceful.”

With this latest tragedy and the upcoming summer season, authorities advise potential swimmers to be aware of their surroundings along the Edisto River.

According to signs posted at the state park, the area where the drowning happened is not a designated swimming area. “Swim at your own risk” signs are placed in multiple spots near the river.

Messages to the State Park Service following this incident were not immediately returned.

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