Man Dies Saving Daughter From Alapaha River

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By: Noelani Mathews
May 9, 2016

LANIER CO., Ga. -- A Lanier County father drowns on Mother's Day weekend.

It happened outside Lakeland, Georgia in the Alapaha River around 2:15 p.m. on Saturday.

Georgia's Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Division says 44-year-old Cary Russell Self was found nearly three hours later.

Georgia State Patrol dive team located Self's body around 5:15 p.m.

Georgia's DNR says Self was attempting to cross the river with his younger daughter, but ended up getting pulled in by the current.

The daughter was pulled out to safety.

Lanier Co. officials say a recent storm that week could be a contributing factor to the incident.

"You could've swam there a hundred times, but things change, atmosphere changes, water changes. Underneath what you thought you knew changes, so we need to be cognizant of that when we're in these bodies of water", says Chief Herb Bennett of the Lakeland Police Department.

Georgia's DNR is still investigating.

Lanier Co. officials say this is the third drowning incident in the past two years.

By: Associated Press; WCTV Eyewitness News
May 9, 2016

LAKELAND, Ga. (AP) -- A man has drowned while saving his 3-year-old daughter from the Alapaha River.

Lanier County Sheriff Nick Norton tells local media that 44-year-old Cary Russell Self died Saturday afternoon.

Norton says Self's daughter had wandered away from a group of adults and into the Alapaha River at Pafford's Landing. When Self noticed what had happened, he jumped into the water, swam to his daughter and held her up until someone pulled her to safety.

Self never resurfaced.

Cpl. Chris Kelch of the Georgia State Patrol says the state patrol dive team located Self's body around 5:15 p.m.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is investigating the incident.

According to a Lanier Co. coroner Patches Phillips, this is the third drowning death in the past two years.

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