EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) – Edgefield County Deputy Coroner Doug Painter has released the identity of a North Augusta man last seen at Stevens Creek Landing, Thursday, November 28, around 4 p.m.
A 911 call from the shore along Dock Drive reported that a man, now identified as 39-year-old Andre Johnson, had been seen fishing from a 15-foot aluminum boat and, around 4:16 p.m., was no longer visible. The call was to report the disappearance.
The caller, who investigators tell us was celebrating Thanksgiving, called 911 when they realized the boat no longer had an occupant.
When the boat was recovered later Thursday night, it contained fishing gear. Investigators tell WJBF that the family told them Johnson was regularly out in his boat fishing and was not a stranger to the sport.
The water temperature at the time of Johnson’s disappearance was likely around 46 degrees.
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, who is handling the investigation, located the body in Stevens Creek parallel to Dock Drive shortly before 9 a.m. Friday, November 29, the day after Johnson went missing.
Investigators say Johnson was not wearing a life vest when they recovered his body.
Residents who live along Stevens Creek tell WJBF that there have been a number of accidents and drownings in that area over the years and that the number of underwater obstructions make navigating the waterway particularly dangerous.
Signs at the landing tell a similar story, warning visitors of underwater “shoals and other hazards which could pose danger to recreational users.”
Sgt. Micheal Davis with South Carolina DNR told WJBF that the incident was especially sad “right here at the holiday season. It’s unfortunate, but our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”
The Edgefield County Coroner’s Office said the autopsy will be performed Monday.
Count on NewsChannel 6 for more details as they become available.