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UPDATE: Missing swimmers found

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

UPDATE: Wednesday, July 1 at 3 p.m.

Emergency responders found the bodies of brothers Kevin George Jr., 21, of Philadelphia and Zion George, 20, of Tennessee around 10:30 a.m. near the Murderkill River where they were last seen after being caught in a strong current June 30.

The investigation revealed that Kevin George Jr., Zion George, a 20-year-old Philadelphia woman and a 20-year-old Philadelphia man traveled to the South Bowers Beach area for a day trip around 2 p.m.

The three men entered the water in the Delaware Bay to go swimming during low tide. As they were in the water, the tide changed, and the strong current pulled all three into the Murderkill River.

At this time, Assistant Chief of South Bowers Beach Fire Department Michael Hignutt and his cousin, Timothy Smith, were fishing in the area and heard cries for help. Hignutt and Smith went into the water to try to rescue the swimmers. Hignutt successfully rescued the 20-year-old man when he discovered the woman had now gone into the water to try and save the other two.

She was pulled out by the current, and Hignutt rescued her.

They could not find Kevin and Zion George, and multiple police, fire departments, maritime and Emergency Medical Service agencies responded and conducted a search and rescue. As of 9 p.m., the brothers were not found and the search efforts were suspended until July 1.

A search and recovery mission began at 9 a.m. Kevin George was found in the Murderkill River close to where he was last seen around 10:30 a.m. About 15 minutes later, Zion George was found in the same general area.

ORIGINAL REPORT: Wednesday, July 1 at 10 a.m.

Multiple emergency response agencies have been searching for two swimmers who were carried away by strong water currents in the Murderkill River and South Bowers Beach area June 30, police said.

The Delaware State Police responded at 2:59 p.m. They learned that four people went swimming in the Murderkill River near the 4000 block of South Bowers Beach Road and were pulled away from shore.They were a 21-year-old Philadelphia man, a 20-year-old Tennessee man, a 20-year-old Philadelphia woman and a 20-year-old Philadelphia man.

Someone onshore saw this happen and went into the water twice to safely rescue two swimmers.

As of 9 p.m., two of the swimmers were not found, and the search efforts were suspended until July 1 when they will begin again.

At this time, the case is active and ongoing. Police are withholding the identities of the victims while notifying their family.