Mercer Students Planned to Spend the Night in Swamp

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Updated: Tue, 03 Sep 2013 11:42:11 EST

Four mercer students found themselves lost on the Ocmulgee River near midnight on Labor Day. Sophomores Jarret and Avery planned to float down the Ocmulgee with two female colleagues but nearly ended up spending the night in the swamp.

"Thanks to the cops that got us out sooner," said Avery. "You know those guys helped us out a lot."

The foursome sat out near 3:30 p.m. Monday from the Spring Street boat launch. From there they floated four miles down the river where a friend was supposed to be waiting.

"Rafted down to it(road), got out, the road was a swamp," said Jarret.

"The swamp was where the road should have been." said Avery.

"Yeah, it didn't work out as we planned," laughed Jarret.

The two said they weren't concerned at all and even thought the situation was blown out of proportion. They contemplated spending the night, despite the threat of snakes and alligators. Instead, thought twice because of their female companions.

"Just didn't want the girls to be out there, that was my main problem," said Jarret.

Macon Police, Bibb County Sheriff, Macon Fire and Rescue collaborated in the efforts to find the foursome. A Georgia State Patrol helicopter and the Department of Natural Resources were also en route. Law enforcement used GPS from Avery's cell phone signal to determine their location.

Three Macon Police officers, Recruit Brandon Hudson, Precinct 1 Officers Jacob Young and Coleman Lewis walked through a mile and a half of swamp land to reach the group somewhere behind the city landfill.

"That's what we ask of our officers on a regular basis," said Lt. Shermaine Jones, Macon Police Department. "Do your job, try to provide services to the citizens and they went well above and beyond in this case."

"When we saw the flash lights we were like alright we're getting out tonight," said Avery. "You know we'll have a bed to sleep in."

Despite losing a raft as it was snagged by a tree and being stranded, the night turned out alright.

"In the middle of the night, a couple of beautiful ladies," jokingly said Jarret. "It's a good story if nothing else."

Jarret and Avery said they did not have class Tuesday so they were able to rest but the two women unfortunately did.

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