Drowning victim gave life vest to boys

The body of a St. Paul’s man has been recovered after an arduous weekend of searching.
Francisco Javier Vazquez Hernandez, known as Paco to friends and family, went missing Friday evening shortly after 6 p.m. , State Parks spokesperson Michelle Walker said. He was driving a jetski and pulling two children on an inner tube. The two boys, who were not wearing life jackets, jumped from the float, Walker said.

When they appeared to be struggling in the water. Hernandez jumped in to give his life jacket to the boys. Walker said, the two children managed to swim to a nearby pier and make it to shore, but Hernandez, unable to make it back to the jetski due to wind and waves, went under the water.
County, local, and neighboring first responders began the search Friday evening. Saturday morning the recovery efforts resumed at 6 a.m. and a Highway Patrol helicopter, cadaver dogs, and dive teams were brought in to assist in the search. Saturday’s efforts continued on into Sunday morning, when Hernandez’s body was found under a pier in the Waccamaw Shores area just yards from where he disappeared.

We will have more on this story later on CCN.

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Jefferson Weaver is the Managing Editor of Columbus County News and he can be reached at (910) 914-6056, (910) 632-4965, or by email at [email protected].