Fisherman's body pulled out of Edisto River - WFXG FOX54 Augusta - Your News One Hour Earlier

Fisherman's body pulled out of Edisto River

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Wednesday was a normal day for Sgt John Bedingfield when suddenly received a call from a colleague.

"I was home, one of my officers received a call, about 10:30, that we had a missing or overdue boater," Bedingfield said. "A gentleman had gone fishing and not returned."

That gentleman, 81-yr-old John Champy Sr., was last seen near the South Fork Edisto River Boat Ramp.

"They launched somewhere around 10:30 or so and his body was located, I think it was, around 4 am," said Bedingfield.

Bedingfield said Champy's family originally reported him missing. That's when he, others members of the SC Dept of Natural Resources and the Williston Fire & Rescue team searched for hours.

Bedingfield said the boat wasn't tipped over but Champy was alone.

"Being by yourself does create a little more dangerous situation," said Bedingfield. "Especially right now, with all these water levels like they are. People should really use some caution in these flooded conditions. It can get dangerous."

Bedingfield said all access points of the Savannah River are closed and while the Edisto River is open, boaters should stay alert and not go on the water alone.\

The Aiken County Coroner's Office and DNR are investigating the cause of death.

Officials said no foul play is suspected at this point.

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