[UPDATE] Diving for James, Fundraiser Equips Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Valdosta, Georgia - June 17, 2011

The Diving for James dedication raised $148,201.65 for equipment.

A 20-foot boat, 24 dive suits, two metal detectors, weights, a sonar, dive-knives and buoys will be used by Lowndes County deputies and firefighters.

Several area donors also sponsored a diver for $3,000.

During the 17-day search for James Eunice investigators had just one wet suit.

Surrounding agencies were called to assist.

"We didn't have the proper equipment that we needed," says Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. "Now we do. We have the dry suits. It doesn't matter what kind of weather. You know, the dry suits also protects the diver in the event that there's a car underwater and there's gas and oil."

Officials say the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office will handle below water missions.

Whereas, Lowndes County Fire Rescue will respond to emergencies above water.


Valdosta, Georgia - June 16, 2011

A south Georgia community gathers to celebrate the life of a Valdosta teen who would have turned 18 today.

The ceremony began with a prayer service.

Then, a proclamation honored the memory of James Eunice.

State legislators Amy Carter, Tim Golden and Jason Shaw presented it, but with all this happiness, you could still see the sadness in Tammy Eunice's eyes.

James would have been 18 today.

"John and I both say we will have a180 pound hole in our hearts for the rest of our lives," says Tammy.

It's been a long five months for the Eunice family.

On January 15, James drowned while duck hunting on Ocean Pond.

"It has been one of the most painful things that I've ever gone through," says Tammy. "I miss him everyday. My heart will be broken."

But it's through sharing James' story, that Tammy says she's able to heal.

And even through the pain, the Eunice family found strength to give back to the community that gave its all to them.

A fundraiser in James' honor bought 24 dive suits, a boat, weights, a sonar and dive knives and buoys for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

A check for over $100,000 was presented to them which was used to purchase that equipment.

Drew Pipkin, who attended the ceremony with friends and family, was with James when he disappeared.

"We were on the way down to Ocean Pond and we were listening to rap music and a song came on," says Drew. "And James was rapping to every single word of the song. It was just so fun being with him that last day. And the great experiences and great memories I'll have for the rest of my life."

James would have attended the University of Georgia in the fall.

In his honor, James will appear on the football roster as number 23.


Valdosta, Georgia - 6-16-2011

The Valdosta community gathers today to remember James Eunice on what would have been his 18 birthday. A dedication ceremony is held to donate 24 wet suits to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. James' parents, Tammy and John Eunice, say today is a celebration of how James lived.

On January 31st, investigators found 17-year-old James Eunice's body in the middle of Ocean Pond. Deputies say James drowned January 15, after he fell overboard while flushing ducks. They say James was wearing waders at the time, which prevented him from swimming ashore.

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  • by wallas Location: lake park on Jun 18, 2011 at 12:32 AM
    jesus LET HIM REST IN PEACE. he was buried a month ago
  • by wonderful on Jun 17, 2011 at 04:11 PM
    Its amazing to see the community come together and accomplish these goals. James continues to affect the community in positive ways. Bless all those involved in the success of this fundraiser. God is good. Its refreshing to hear good news for a change.
  • by Gloria Location: Valdosta on Jun 17, 2011 at 06:04 AM
    James was an AMAZING young man who allowed God to lead him in touching others lives. I am thankful for James' family and their love for God as they continue to reach others through his journey. Please pray for this family and his friends to continue to spread the Word and love of God through James and his memory. God is faithful - always.
  • by Ally Location: valdosta Ga. on Jun 16, 2011 at 02:14 PM
    He Was truely amazing. We all miss him so much. He dreamed of spreading the word of God and changing people's lives. And i honestly believe he did in more ways than he could ever know than we all could ever know. Love and Miss you James! <3
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