Crews recover body of swimmer who went missing in College Creek

Rescue crews returned to the scene at College Creek on June 27, 2017, where a swimmer went missing the previous day. Credit: WAVY/Brandi Cummings

JAMES CITY COUNTY, Va. (WAVY) — The body of a swimmer who went missing in College Creek was recovered Tuesday.

Police and fire were called to the creek, off of Colonial Parkway, around 7:15 p.m. Monday for a report of a swimmer who went underwater and didn’t come back up.

Tony Garcia and his wife (Courtesy photo via GoFundMe)

Twenty-three-year-old Tony Jimenez Garcia, of Chesterfield County, was visiting the area Monday with a church group. Witnesses reported that he and a relative had been fishing and went into the water to cool off. They both tried to swim out to a sandbar when Garcia went under and did not resurface. He was not wearing a life vest, police said.

Crews from the National Park Service, the Williamsburg Fire Department, Virginia Marine Police, the Navy and the Coast Guard all began searching for the man. At about 10:15 p.m., the search turned into a recovery operation. The efforts were suspended around 11 p.m. and resumed at 6 a.m.

“Unfortunately there is a very strong current that goes through that area,” said James City County spokeswoman Stephanie Williams.

Officials said they suspect Garcia drowned. His body was found at about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Family members say Garcia didn’t have insurance and they need help to pay for burial. They’ve set up a GoFundMe. Click here to donate.

Last year, 27-year-old Edwin Alexander Tejada Delgado drowned while swimming in College Creek. Rubino told 10 On Your Side at the time that the creek is a popular swimming spot, but there are signs warning of the danger of a strong rip tide, deep water and that it is unsafe for swimming or wading.