Mercer Students rescued from Ocmulgee River (Photo: WMAZ)
MACON, GA-- A holiday ride on the river turned into a swampy search for four Mercer students Monday.
Macon police say the four got lost in the dark, after several hours on the Ocmulgee. They called 911 for help and were found wandering in the area of the Bond and Walker swamps, south of Macon.
A police news release does not name the students -- two men and two women.
It says they left the boat ramp at Macon's Riverwalk around 3:30 p.m. Monday.
They drifted down the river for several miles, but went ashore when it got dark, they said.
Macon police, Macon-Bibb Fire and Rescue and Georgia Department of Natural Resources collaborated to locate the four using their cell phones' GPS.
Three Macon officers -- recruit Brandon Hudson and Precinct 1 Officers Jacob Young and Coleman Lewis -- found the four after walking in the swamp for about a mile and a half.
They escorted the four to safety and back to their cars. They were not injured.
In a news release, Macon police Capt. Eric Walker praised the officers' work.
He commented: "We encourage everyone who uses waterways for recreation to observe safety rules, including exiting the water before dusk. Even if you are familiar with a river, it is easy to become disoriented when it becomes dark."