Crime & Courts

Swimmer who drowned in Congaree River identified

Rescue workers search the waters of the Congaree River on Sunday after a man went missing while trying to swim across the river with three other people.
Rescue workers search the waters of the Congaree River on Sunday after a man went missing while trying to swim across the river with three other people. tkulmala@thestate.com

A 35-year-old from Andrews, S.C., has been identified as the swimmer who drowned in the Congaree River in downtown Columbia last weekend.

Fredrick Ochieng Babu died of asphyxiation due to drowning in the river, Richland County Coroner Gary Watts said Thursday.

Officials have said four people were swimming across the river around 11:30 a.m. Sunday when they were overcome by the current. One swimmer made it to some rocks and two others were rescued by a person who swam halfway across the river to help them.

Babu, the fourth swimmer, went missing. His body was recovered around 5:20 p.m. Tuesday after surfacing near 200 Senate St., Watts said.

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