Georgia man, 34, drowns trying to rescue father who walked off boat in sleep to use bathroom
34-year-old Jeremiah Israel's body was found Monday morning in West Point Lake near LaGrange; his father was rescued by a group of boaters
A man who was trying to save his father at a Georgia lake after he had mistakenly walked off their boat has drowned. The father, who had just awoken from a nap, allegedly thought he was heading toward the bathroom inside his home.
According to LaGrange Daily News, the man who drowned overnight between Sunday and Monday has now been identified as 34-year-old Jeremiah Israel.
Authorities said Israel's body was recovered on West Point Lake near a bridge on Cameron Mill Road on Monday.
“Deputies with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to West Point Lake under the Cameron Mill Road bridge regarding a possible drowning,” the Sheriff’s Office told WRBL.
“Once on the scene, deputies were advised that a 34-year old male had jumped in the water from his boat in an attempt to save his father, 64-years of age, who had accidentally fallen in the water as the boat was tied under the bridge.”
Israel, who resided in the Jonesboro suburb of Atlanta, was fishing with his father on the lake Sunday night, Troup County Sheriff's Sgt. Stewart Smith said, when the two grew tired and fell asleep after tying the boat to the bridge.
At one point during the night, the father woke up to use the restroom, thinking he was at home. It was at that moment the father reportedly walked right off the boat.
When Israel realized his father was in the water, he jumped in to rescue him. However, he never emerged from the lake.
According to Sgt. Smith, a group of boaters about 20-30 feet away rescued the father and helped him back into his boat. The father was released after being taken to West Georgia Medical Center.
Tift County Sheriff's Office deputies and Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Rangers worked together to recover Israel's body at around 10.47 am on Monday.
Georgia's DNR is currently investigating the tragic incident as an apparent accidental drowning.