GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. -- A teenager drowned near the pier in Green Cove Springs Saturday afternoon, according to the Green Cove Springs Police Department.
Police and Fire Rescue got a call around 4:40 p.m. When they arrived a few minutes later, they were told a young man had been swimming near the end of the pier, went under water and had not been seen for several minutes.
When they entered the water, they located him within a few minutes, but were unable to revive him.
Witnesses told authorities the 18-year-old was swimming with a friend when he became tired and yelled that he was cramping. His friend tried to help, but was pulled under as the teen struggled. The friend was able to get out of the water.
Police report the water at the end of the pier is only 7 or 8 feet deep, but the bottom of the river is very thick mud, almost a sludge like consistency. In their advisory, they warned that if a person gets into this mud, it can be extremely difficult to get out. Police say there are signs posted on the pier and along the river prohibiting swimming and wadding in the river for this reason.
Police said the teen had apparently moved to Florida recently from his home state of Virginia.
At this time, police do not suspect anything other than an accidental drowning, but say they will investigate.
In the press release, the GCSPD states, "This is a tragic incident, but is something that certainly could have been avoided. We hope our news organizations will stress that these signs prohibiting swimming in these areas of the river are there for a reason, and hopefully we can avoid other tragedies or senseless loss of life."