Missing man last seen in Chattahoochee River identified, recover - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Missing man last seen in Chattahoochee River identified, recovery effort continues

(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM) (Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM) (Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)
(Source: Marla Spence/WTVM) (Source: Marla Spence/WTVM)

As the water recovery effort for a man that was last seen in the Chattahoochee River Wednesday afternoon continues, the identity of the man has been released. 

According to a police report, the victim is 25-year-old Thomas Odom from Warner Robins. He was in Columbus visiting family.

Odom was snorkeling and got caught up in what could have been a rip current and went under just south of the 13th Street Bridge Wednesday afternoon.

The search continues Thursday with the Columbus Fire Department's Water Rescue Team and the Department of Natural Resources as a helicopter and six boats are currently on site.

“There are no true underwater rescues, that’s more of a misnomer. It is more of a body recovery at this time. By the time we get our units in the water if you have been under water for more than 20 minutes. The chances are just absolutely remote that you would be found quick enough to have any type of opportunity to be saved. It is a recovery operation at this point.” Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores said.

Georgia Power was asked to cut off the water flow from upstream late Wednesday afternoon so divers and rescuers could have an easier time searching under the water.

"There is a lot of water in the basin right now and we can only hold it in our small lakes for so long. We are working with them on trying to manage the flow of the river to assist with search and rescue efforts as best we can," said Robert Watkins, a Georgia Power Representative.

In day two of recovery efforts, people are being cited for swimming in the Chattahoochee River without a life vest.

"I think it's a good idea to maybe put up more signs, or at least a notice somewhere that we need to be more careful in the water," said Amber Lawson, who lives in Columbus.

At times huge crowds have gathered to watch the search efforts. Many people sharing their concern and shock from this latest incident."My son and I, he's six, we come down nearly every week. Just to think of something happening that close it's frightening for not only me but my son," said Connie Hudgens, a resident of Harris County.

Columbus Fire Marshall Ricky Shores says the recovery efforts will continue until Odom's body is found.

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