A man believed to have drowned after jumping from a dock in east Liberty County has been found safe.
According to Mike Hodges, Liberty County Public Safety Director, a man reportedly jumped into the waters at Sunbury Boat Ramp sometime after 7:00 a.m. on Wednesday.
Hodges said a call came into dispatch from a woman who told the operator a man fearing for his life plunged into the water.
She said the man was not seen afterward.
Liberty County Sheriff’s Office Detective Michael Kent Jr. told reporters the man was working on a shrimp boat when he dove into the water maybe 10 feet from the shore.
Kent did not identify the man and said he isn’t local to Liberty County but is from southeast Georgia.
Roughly four hours after the initial call, around 11:00 a.m. the man was spotted by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
The man emerged from the marsh covered in mud.
“This is a very bizarre story,” said Larry Logan, Liberty County Emergency Management Agency Director. “Normally it ends badly when people go overboard and hours pass by.”
Logan explained that detectives were still working to find out why the man jumped from the boat, but they believe he had been hiding in the marsh or water since the jump.
“There seems to be some type of unstableness in his conversation, so the detective department is going to look into that to see what might be going on other than just him jumping off the boat,” he said. “Because there might be some other things going on with him that we don’t know about.”
Kent interviewed the man once he had a chance to clean the mud off of himself. The detective said the man told him he was afraid of being around people.
The man has not been identified. Since speaking with authorities, he was released and no charges are pending.
Eastern District Fire and Rescue, the Wayne County Dive Team, Liberty County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia DNR all responded to the incident. The Coast Guard also flew by the scene.
Lewis Levine, Coastal News Service contributed to this report