Chattahoochee River drowning sparks life vest donations
COLUMBUS, Ga. (AP) — Donors are contributing life preservers in honor of a boy who drowned in the Chattahoochee River on the Georgia-Alabama state line.
Multiple life jackets have been left along the river since the death of 6-year-old Jeremiah Henderson, WTVM-TV reported. The child fell into the river in rapids at Columbus on June 30. His body was recovered two days later about 10 miles (16 kilometers) downstream.
Since then, Tina Peavey has used donations to purchase more than 60 life preservers that are being placed in waterfront areas around the Chattahoochee Valley.
Peavey brought the first four life preservers to an island on Wednesday night and a dozen more on Thursday. She has 40 more to distribute.
“You know that could have been my son out there that drowned,” Peavey said. “I’ve got four kids and I want to make sure mine are safe and everyone else’s. It takes a village to raise these kids.”
One fishing group bought eight life jackets, wrote Jeremiah’s name on them and tied them to signs on the island where Jeremiah fell off the rocks.
“It only takes a split second on those rocks when they’re slick, and when you’re in that current it sucks you under in no time. Getting a life jacket on is going to prevent them going under,” said angler David Redding.
The life preservers are intended to be used as “loaners” by people near the river. A city ordinance requires life preserver use around the river, which is a popular spot for white-water rafting trips.
Information from: WTVM-TV, http://www.wtvm.com/