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3rd ID soldier dies in boating accident
Fort Stewart display

The Pembroke man whose body was recovered from the Savannah River on Monday afternoon was a 3rd Infantry Division soldier, Fort Stewart announced Tuesday.

The body of Sgt. Austin T. Sneed, 27, was recovered from the Savannah River’s South Channel at about 1:30 p.m. Monday, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced in a news release issued Monday.

Chatham County Aviation spotted him and directed DNR law-enforcement rangers to the recovery location.

The search began Saturday morning, when law enforcement received a call that Sneed’s boat had struck the Fort Pulaski Bridge. He was ejected into the river and did not resurface, DNR said.

Personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard, Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department Marine Patrol and Chatham County Aviation Unit, along with the DNR rangers, participated in the search.

Sneed, a Bakersfield, California native, entered active duty with the Army in January 2010, according to a Fort Stewart news release.

Sneed was an indirect fire infantry man assigned to 3rd ID. He had deployed both to Iraq and Afghanistan during his career.

His awards include the Army Commendation Medal, Meritorious Unit Citation, Army Good Conduct Medal, Afghan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, NATO Medal, and the Combat Infantryman Badge.

“The 3rd Infantry Division community is very saddened by this news, and our thoughts and prayers are with Sgt. Sneed's family and friends during this difficult time,” Fort Stewart’s statement says. “Installation support services, including counseling and chaplain services, have been provided to his family and unit."

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