The body of a Beaufort man who disappeared while swimming Monday near the Wimbee Creek Landing was recovered by authorities Wednesday morning.
The body of 28-year-old Steven Wright Jr. was found at about 10 a.m. in Wimbee Creek, about two miles from where he disappeared, according to Sgt. Michael Paul Thomas of the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
Thomas said a DNR pilot flying over the creek spotted Wright's body, which was recovered a few minutes later by DNR and Beaufort County Sheriff's Office patrol boats.
Wright's body had drifted about two miles away from where he was last seen, at the boat landing, Sheriff's Office Sgt. Robin McIntosh said. Authorities had been searching for him since Monday afternoon.
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Amberlee Pelkey, Wright's longtime friend, described him as "extremely outdoorsy," with a special love for the water. Pelkey said she called him her "Jack Sparrow," after the pirate captain from the popular Pirates of the Caribbean movie series.
"He was a wonderful swimmer, and he loved fishing with his friends and his family," she said.
Wright, who was known by the nickname "Bubba," had two sons, ages 3 and 7.
Wright's stepfather, Gary Stevens, said Wright had worked with HVAC systems before his death. Stevens said he had helped raise Wright "since he was 5 or 6 years old."
Pelkey said Wright's friends and family joined in the search. They held hands in a circle and prayed when they were notified Wright's body had been found Wednesday.
Stevens said the family is planning a memorial ceremony at the boat landing in Dale sometime over the next week. Friends are encouraged to bring photos and candles in his memory.
"He had hundreds of friends," he said. "We want to get them here and bring them all together in memory of him."
Stevens said the family may hold a small, private memorial at the landing in the next couple of days, as well. Other funeral arrangements are pending.