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A former Bamberg County resident drowned on Wednesday night after fishing with his brother at Brabham’s Landing on Cannon Bridge Road.

David Williams, 65, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, died as a result of accidental drowning, Bamberg County Coroner Billy Duncan said.

S.C. Department of Natural Resources divers recovered Williams’ body just before 10 a.m. Thursday. The Bamberg County Fire Department, Canaan Dive Team and Bamberg County EMS also responded.

David Williams and his brother Abraham Williams were fishing at the South Fork of the Edisto River when the incident occurred.

“He was sitting right here in a chair and I turned my back to put the pole in the truck and my reels in the truck and I heard a big splash,” Abraham Williams said.

“And I got my light and shined and I seen him on top of the water here. So I took my phone out my pocket and my cigarettes and I laid them down and ran on the other side of that bush.”

He prepared to jump into the water under the night sky.

“And I put the light on him again and he was still on top of the water. And then I dived in behind him and he went down,” Williams said.

He said his brother never learned how to swim.

“I dived in behind him and swam all the way down to the other end of the bridge there, all the way through there. And I come out of the other side. I couldn’t find him, so I came out and called 911 because my phone was on the bank.”

Divers started searching the area just after 9 p.m. Wednesday. They continued until 2 a.m. Thursday and returned later that morning.

Just before 10 a.m., Abraham Williams returned to the landing.

Divers recovered his brother’s body just moments earlier.

Several of his siblings stood together.

They talked about David’s visit to the Bamberg County area. He’d only been there about a week and a half so he could visit with his family.

Last Friday, the family gathered for the funeral of their oldest brother, LeRoy Williams of James Island.

Sisters Elouise Ray and Lelia Williams, both of Cope, said their brother David was the second oldest.

“Numb,” Ray said.

“It’s like a bad dream and I’m going to wake up and it’s going to be OK,” she said.

David’s death came two weeks to the day after LeRoy’s death.

“It was the first time we’d seen him in 16 years,” Ray said.

“There was 10 of us,” Lelia Williams said.

Their brother Johnnie Williams of Ehrhardt said David was a retired Army soldier.

“He been a good brother. He had nice friends and he loved his family,” he said.

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