Officers find stranded bird watchers in big Colleton preserve

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By Heather Ruppe

Bird watchers who became lost on rural paths in Colleton County were rescued on ATVs by state and local authorities.

On Friday, June 17, officers with the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office and S.C. Department of Natural Resources were called to the Donnelly Wildlife Preserve in rural Colleton County. This federal preserve is located in the ACE Basin of Colleton County near Green Pond, off of ACE Basin Parkway.

There, two men were birdwatching when they became stranded along a rural path within the preserve. Temperatures and heat indexes reached 100 degrees that day, adding a sense of urgency to the rescue.

“This is a very popular place for bird-watching,” Erin Weeks, spokeswoman for tS.C. DNR, said about the Donnelly Wildlife Preserve.

Deputies and officers used ATVs to locate the two men. The men were then driven back to their vehicle. Firefighter-paramedics from Colleton County Fire-Rescue were also on scene and treated the men for medical issues, said Weeks.

“Due to the ongoing relationships of all agencies involved the rescue was quick and no doubt saved lives,” said S.C. DNR officer Brandon Woodward, who responded to the scene and participated in the rescue.

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