COLLETON COUNTY, S.C. (WCBD) – A boating trip along the Edisto River turned tragic early Saturday morning after a boat struck a wooden piling, ejecting a man and knocking a woman unconscious.
According to Colleton County Fire Rescue, four individuals were in the boat at the time of the collision which happened just before 1:00 a.m. on the Edisto River south of the ACE Basin Parkway Bridge.
Officials say the boat was traveling on the dark river when it struck the object and ejected the boat operator into the water and critically injured an adult female.
Fire-Rescue crews said the woman was knocked unconscious because of the impact. Two of the other adults, who received only minor injuries, searched the area for the missing driver who was not wearing a life jacket. They were unsuccessful in their recovery attempt.
Rescue crews arrived and treated the unconscious woman at the scene before transporting her to the trauma center at the Medical University of South Carolina for further treatment.
Crews continued to search the river for the missing driver, but visibility was poor in the darkness and the search was suspended at about 3:00 a.m. until daylight.
After sunrise, crews renewed their search using scanning sonar and located the deceased victim near the collision site under about 6-feet of water.
The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources assisted in the search and recovery efforts.