SALUDA COUNTY — The body of a man who fell from a boat Sunday afternoon was pulled from the Little Saluda River area of Lake Murray on Monday morning.
Jason Lee Rinehart was fishing near his home on Beaver Dam Creek Road between 3:30 and 4 p.m. Sunday, said Capt. Robert McCullough of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Several witnesses saw the 33-year-old Rinehart fall from his 10-foot johnboat into the water, McCullough said.
According to his obituary, Rinehart had lived on Lake Murray for 10 years and fishing “was what he loved the most.”
Divers from DNR and the Newberry County Dive Team started searching Sunday afternoon for Rinehart but called off the search that night due to the cold.
The dive teams started searching the Little Saluda River area of the lake again Monday morning in what Newberry County Dive Team Chief Glenn Hamm described as a recovery effort.
Around 10:30 a.m. Monday, Rinehart was found in 10 to 12 feet of water. McCullough said the water temperatures were between 51 and 52 degrees.
His boat and paddle were found in the area. Rinehart was not wearing a life jacket but had one in the boat with him.
McCullough said 80 percent of the people who wear lifejackets are able to survive if they fall into the water.
“We highly recommend wearing life jackets,” said McCullough.
He added it is even more important to wear a lifejacket in cold weather because cold water causes the body to lose use of its extremities quickly.
“You have a lot better chance with a lifejacket on,” McCullough said.
Reach Cindy Pitts at email@example.com or 276-0625 ext. 108.