Friends remember man who died after swimming in Chattahoochee - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Friends remember man who died after swimming in Chattahoochee River

23-year-old Jarvis Willis of Phenix City drowned Sunday night while swimming in the Chattahoochee River. 23-year-old Jarvis Willis of Phenix City drowned Sunday night while swimming in the Chattahoochee River.
Willis' girlfriend says her Willis loved spending time at the Chattahoochee River. Willis' girlfriend says her Willis loved spending time at the Chattahoochee River.
COLUMBUS, GA -

For the fourth time in a week, a life has been taken in the Chattahoochee River. Officials say it appears 23-year-old Jarvis Willis drowned in the river overnight.

This comes only days after a mother, her 11-month-old and three-year-old died after falling in the Chattahoochee.

On Monday, officials released the name of a 23-year-old man witnesses say went under the water while swimming in the Chattahoochee River. Muscogee County Coroner pronounced Jarvis Willis dead about 1 a.m. Monday.

Willis' girlfriend, Megan Griffin, says her Willis loved spending time at the Chattahoochee River. She says on Memorial Day the couple met on the river. She says he loved the Chattahoochee River, knew how to swim, and was passionate about fishing.

"We went down there every day, and fished when I got off work no matter if it was dark-time or early in the morning at 6 o'clock in the morning we were always down there fishing," said Griffin.

On Sunday night, the couple and some friends went down to the river to fish. Griffin watched as she says Jarvis and another man swam across to the Alabama side of the river, and on their way back, something went wrong.

"The current got him and pulled him up under next to the bridge, and he was hollering for help. And, I wanted to go out there and help him, but I just couldn't," said Griffin.

Griffin says the other swimmer and another man tried to save him but were unable.

Late Sunday night, rescue divers filled the river trying to find Willis.  Hours later, his body was recovered. 

"He was a good person. He was always bright, always helping people out. Every time he saw somebody, he always just walk up and just start talking to them getting to know them," said Willis' friend Jacquise Cooper.

Cooper says his friend's death as well as last week's drowning deaths of Columbus mother Krystal Brown, her 11-month old baby, and 3-year-old son send a strong message to the community.

"They need to stay out of that water. They need to stay out of it because it is dangerous," said Cooper.

Griffin says Willis leaves behind a three-year-old son.

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