Beaufort News

1 dead after diving incident in Broad River


A Tennessee man diving for shark teeth in the Broad River has died, officials say.

Brian Owens, 57, of Johnson City, Tenn., was pronounced dead at Beaufort Memorial Hospital on Saturday afternoon, according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott.

The man was part of a party of six divers on the river when firefighters with the Burton Fire District and other first responders arrived on the scene around 1 p.m. Saturday at the Broad River Boat Landing, according to district spokesman Dan Byrne.

Originally it was reported that two divers in the group had become distressed, though according to Beaufort County Deputy Coroner David Ott, only one was in distress.

The group was diving recreationally and looking for shark’s teeth, Ott said.

All of the divers were experienced, he said.

It is not known at this time what happened to Owens.

He was taken to the Medical University of South Carolina, where an autopsy will be performed on Sunday, Ott said.