Sgt. Andre Armstrong, 27, and four others decided to go swimming in the Ocmulgee River near Macon, Ga. while walking trails after a physical training exercise on the morning on July 31, the Marine Corps said, according to the Marine Corps Times.
Armstrong started “having trouble” and the others weren’t able to save him, a statement from the Bibb County Sheriff’s Department said, the Times reported.
A dive team with the Macon-Bibb Fire Department immediately recovered his body from the water, the Times said. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The Marines of Recruiting Station Columbia and Recruiting Substation Macon are deeply saddened by the loss of Sergeant Andre Armstrong,” Capt. Bryan McDonnell, a Marine Corps spokesman, told Marine Corps Times. “We would like to thank the local authorities who responded to the call and aided in recovery efforts.”
Armstrong, who was from Mississippi, joined the Marines in 2013 and had been awarded several medals, including the National Defense Service Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal and the Marine Corps Good Conduct Medal.
He deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit in 2018, according to the Times.
His death remains under investigation.
“The Marine Corps made the next of kin notification immediately following the incident,” McDonnell told Military.com in a statement. “Out of respect for the privacy of Sgt. Armstrong’s family, the Marine Corps did not contact media organizations with the information immediately.”
Armstrong’s was the fifth accidental Marine drowning this year, according to Military.com.