SALUDA — Jose Milton Martinez, 31, of Charlotte, N.C., has been identified as the drowning victim recovered at approximately 12:58 a.m. Thursday at 126 Jumper Road in Prosperity.
Glenn Hamm with the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team said they responded to Jumper Road at 10:26 p.m. in reference to a drowning. Prosperity Rescue, Newberry Rescue, Saluda County Sheriff’s Office, the Department of Natural Resources, Newberry County Sheriff’s Office, Circle Fire Department and Saluda County EMS also assisted.
Newberry County rescue resources were told that a man had fallen out of a small boat, went under and had not resurfaced.
“The members were instructed to coordinate with Saluda County Sheriffs Office and S.C. Department of Natural Resources to begin search and rescue operations,” Hamm said.
The first diver went into the water at 11:09 p.m., 43 minutes after the call was dispatched. Multiple divers were involved with the search.
An autopsy conducted Friday indicated Martinez drowned, said Saluda County Coroner Keith Turner.
Turner said three individuals, including Martinez, were using an old John boat next to the dock on Jumper Road. The boat went into the water and began to take on water. Turner said the boat had no plugs or life jackets.
“Two could swim, one could not,” Turner said.
The individuals were in 12 feet of water, with a temperature of 84 degrees, according to Turner. The body was recovered by the Newberry County Water Rescue and Dive Team.