Swimmer recovered on Tybee Island was Fort Stewart soldier

Local News

Officials say a man recovered off of Tybee Island on Tuesday was a soldier at Fort Stewart.

According to Tybee Police, the swimmer is 33-year-old Staff Sgt. Jesse Binkley. He was currently living in Richmond Hill and was from Arlington, Texas.

Officials at Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield say Binkley was an intelligence analyst assigned to the 2nd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Divison. He had been serving in the Army since 2006 and had four deployments, including Afghanistan, Iraq and Korea.

Binkley is survived by his wife and son.

“The 3rd ID and the Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield community expresses its condolences to
the family and friends of Staff Sgt. Binkley,” stated a release from the base.

The Coast Guard Sector Charleston Command Center was notified by Tybee Island Fire and Rescue of a person missing in the water at 6:38 p.m. on Monday. Officials say Binkley was last seen by his wife and was swimming in a wetsuit on a bodyboard.

A rescue crew searched throughout the night for him.

Coast Guard officials say a helicopter crew located Binkley around 11:40 a.m. Tuesday. Tybee Mayor Jason Buelterman said he was found about 5 miles out from the shore, which is not typical.

Buelterman recoveries typically happen closer to land.

Coast Guard Air Station Savannah crews, a Coast Guard Auxilary aircrew, Station Tybee boat crews, Tybee Island Fire and Rescue crews, Georgia Department of Natural Resources and local authorities helped in the search.

The incident is under investigation.

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