Thirty-nine-year-old Michael Allen Perry died Friday in a tragic drowning near the confluence of the Oconee and Ocmulgee rivers forming the Altamaha River.
Rescue personnel and volunteers searched some 32 hours before Perry’s body was located Saturday around 8 p.m., said Jeff Davis Emergency Management Agency Director Charles Wasdin. The drowning occurred some time after 1 p.m. Friday, Wasdin said.
The search effort involved a small army of people and area citizens and businesses chipped in by providing food and drink.
“People from all over came in to help,” Wasdin said. “We had an abundance of food and drinks.”
The drowning occurred on the Montgomery County side of the river and the Montgomery County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) led the search effort with the help of the Jeff Davis EMA.
EMAs and volunteers joining the effort were from Coffee, Telfair, Wheeler, Appling and Toombs counties. Sarah Jackson with the Georgia Body Recovery Team brought her cadaver dog to aid in the search.
Also helping were the South Georgia Mounted Rescue Team based in Tattnall County and the Department of Natural Resources which also used a DNR helicopter in the effort. Wasdin said local pilot Tony Zorn flew a plane over the area to assist searchers Friday and another plane flew over the area Saturday.
Wasdin expressed his appreciation to all those who provided food and drink to workers.
A native of Hazlehurst, Perry was a sales manager for AgraMed.
He leaves behind his wife, Jaymie Beth McPherson Perry and two young daughters, EmiJay Elizabeth Perry and Annelise Jennings Perry. Jaime Beth Perry is expected the couples first son, McPherson Allen “Mac” Perry in November.
For more information, see the obituary page.