BEAUFORT COUNTY

Separate plunges into Beaufort River top Beaufort County's 2012 news of the weird list

info@islandpacket.comDecember 27, 2012 

Maybe it's something in the water. Several of the weirdest stories of 2012 involve it in some form.

At the top of the list are two folks who decided, separately, to plunge into the Beaufort River in December, one day after the other.

The first, a 29-year-old man with a few drinks in him, stripped to his boxers and dove into the river from the seawall in the Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort. This after he left his guitar safely in a downtown bar and his cowboy boots at the edge of the wall. Rescuers took him to Beaufort Memorial Hospital as a precaution. Police charged him with public drunkenness and diving off the seawall.

A day later, a woman whom police described as "not mentally stable" and with "a fascination for swimming in large bodies of water," dove off the J.E. McTeer Bridge. Rescuers dropped her a line and pulled her in after a 15-minute swim. She wasn't charged.

  • In September, a 23-year-old Hilton Head Island man decided an escape attempt across an alligator-infested Palmetto Dunes lagoon was better than a ticket for speeding and an open container.

  • The man had run from his car after a deputy tried to pull him over. He then leapt into the water and started swimming, ignoring the deputy's orders to come back. The deputy simply drove around the lagoon and arrested him on the other side.

  • In May, a 55-year-old Georgia woman fishing in a lagoon in Shipyard Plantation on Hilton Head was bitten on the foot by an alligator. The woman was treated for broken bones in her foot, lacerations and puncture wounds. The victim said the gator waited until her back was turned to strike. "We never provoked him or anything," she said.

  • In March, two men on a crime spree that police said stretched from Tennessee to Bluffton were arrested at a local hotel. They were caught when one of their victims, staying at the same hotel, called police when he saw one of the men drop an iPad in the parking lot -- the same iPad he'd reported stolen earlier in the day.

  • In April, a homemade chemical concoction in a soda bottle placed in a Bluffton man's SUV by a person or persons unknown exploded as the vehicle sat parked in his driveway. Damage to the vehicle was largely cosmetic. No suspects were found.

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