Police: Body of swimmer found in College Creek, Colonial Parkway reopened

JAMES CITY - The body of a swimmer suspected of drowning has been found in College Creek, according to James City County Police in a news release. 

After a search and rescue effort that began Monday evening, and continued throughout the day Tuesday, the body of Tony Jimenez Garcia, 23, of Chesterfield, was found around 4 p.m., according to the news release. 

Garcia had attempted to swim out to a sandbar at College Creek with a relative Monday evening when Garcia went under water and did not resurface, according to the news release. 

James City County Police began a search and rescue operation, with help from the National Park Service, Williamsburg Fire Department, Virginia Marine Police, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the release stated. 

At about 10:15 p.m. Monday, rescue operations turned to recovery efforts and lasted about 45 minutes, the release stated. Rescue efforts resumed at 6 a.m. Tuesday with the York County Sheriff's Office and Fire Department, Newport News Police and Fire Departments also assisting in the recovery efforts, according to the release. 

Previously:

The National Park Service has temporarily shut down the Colonial Parkway in both directions between Kingspoint and Jamestown Tuesday morning as the James City County Police and Fire departments conduct recovery operations at College Creek, according to James City County Police spokesperson Stephanie Williams. 

This follows the suspected drowning of Tony Jiminez Garcia, 23, of Chesterfield, who was visiting the area with a church group, according to a news release.

Garcia had been fishing with a relative Monday evening, according to a news release. Witnesses said he had went for a swim out to the sand bar at College Creek, went underwater and did not resurface, the news release stated. 

The section of the parkway between Kingspoint and Jamestown will be closed until further notice, Williams said. 

Previously: 

A Chesterfield man is suspected to have drowned Monday evening in College Creek off the Colonial Parkway, according to a James City County Police news release. 

Tony Jimenez Garcia, 23, was visiting the area with a church group and had been fishing with a relative, the release stated. 

It would be the fourth drowning in College Creek in the past 11 years.  

Last July, Edwin Tejada-Delgado drowned in College Creek, a Jamestown High senior drowned there in May 2012, and a 5-year-old girl drowned there in 2007.  

Witnesses told police that Garcia and the relative had attempted to swim out to a sand bar when Garcia went under water and did not resurface, according to the release.  

James City County Police and Fire departments responded to College Creek around 7:15 p.m. regarding the swimmer, and a search and rescue operation began with assistance from the National Park Service, Williamsburg Fire Department, Virginia Marine Police, the U.S. Navy and U.S. Coast Guard, the release stated.  

Three hours after the initial call, rescue operations turned into recovery efforts, according to the release. 

Public safety personnel were still on scene late Monday evening using side scan sonar in the recovery efforts, according to the release, and if those efforts are not successful, operations will be suspended until Tuesday morning.   

Copyright © 2017, The Virginia Gazette
37°