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Body recovered from Ogeechee River

POSTED: May 4, 2018 7:30 a.m.

The body of a man who went missing during a canoe trip on the Ogeechee River Sunday afternoon was found Thursday.

The body of Victor Gutierrez, 22, was found not far from the boat ramp at Morgan’s Bridge a little before noon Thursday. An autopsy to determine the cause of death has been ordered, but authorities said they do not suspect foul play.

According to the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office, three men from Savannah rented a canoe around 3 p.m. Sunday from the Ogeechee Outpost near Morgan’s Bridge. Two of the men returned about 8 p.m. and reported the canoe had overturned and the third man was missing.

As of Tuesday afternoon, officials said their efforts had turned from a rescue effort to a recovery effort.

The men told deputies through the help of an interpreter that after the canoe tipped over they swam to shore but could not locate their friend. A passing boater helped the men recover the canoe and they paddled back to the Ogeechee Outpost to report the incident.

Deputies were able to determine the area where the canoe tipped over. Bryan County Emergency Services and DNR personnel also responded to the incident. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter was dispatched and the search resumed this morning.

The two men who reported the third one missing are of Hispanic descent, according to reports, and needed an interpreter to explain the situation to deputies. They said they had stopped at one point to eat along the shore of the river, and after getting back into the canoe hit a tree branch hanging over the water, causing the canoe to tip over.

The two told deputies they were able to swim to shore, but when they got out of the water and looked back, the third man was gone. The man who disappeared was not wearing a life jacket.

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