The bodies of two brothers have been recovered from a river a day after they went missing while swimming.
Kevin George Jr, 21, and his brother Zion George, 20, were dragged into Murderkill River in Kent County, Delaware, after taking a dip in a nearby lake on Tuesday afternoon.
The pair, from Philadelphia and Tennessee, respectively, had travelled to South Bowers Beach with two friends – one of whom had also joined them for a swim.
At around 2pm, the Georges and another male, aged 20, had entered the water during low tide, but a developing current had swept them into the river, reports 6ABC.
The third swimmer was rescued by an off-duty fire chief, while Kevin George’s girlfriend, also 20, had entered the water to try and help but was pulled back by the current and subsequently saved.
Assistant Chief of South Bowers Beach Fire Department Michael Hignutt and his cousin Timothy Smith happened to be fishing nearby when they heard the drama unfold.
Both entered the water and the assistant chief managed to rescue the unnamed male and female – however, the Georges could not be found.
A huge search effort was launched, with numerous police and fire departments being joined by maritime and medical service agencies to find the brothers.
The rescue continued until 9pm on Tuesday before recommencing at 9am on Wednesday, with the bodies discovered within 15 minutes of each other from 10.30am.
Describing the rescue, Mr Hignutt said by chance he had his radio with him and called in to Kent County dispatch to request a water rescue.
He helped keep the third swimmer above water by holding his shorts.
“I rolled him onto his back and told him to look to the sky and I’d get him in,” he said. “I said ‘I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I got you.'”
He left him in the care of Mr Smith before re-entering the water and began swimming towards the George brothers but “lost sight of them”.
He added that as he was catching his breath at the shore, Kevin George’s girlfriend had entered the water but the current brought her back to shore and he “got her back in”.