Bodies of 2 recovered in Green Cove Springs after almost 6-hour search

GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — The bodies of two missing swimmers were recovered from the St. Johns River in Green Cove Springs early Monday morning.

The two men didn't resurface after they jumped into the water at a pier in Green Cove Springs. Their bodies were recovered just after midnight Monday, after several agencies searched for almost 6 hours on Sunday, according to Green Cove Springs police.

Police said 22-year-old Billy Joe Hammonds jumped into the river to try to help 21-year-old Ahndray Edward Clay after he went under near the city pier on Walnut Street.

Police said Hammonds made it out to Clay, but the two went under and never resurfaced around 6:30 p.m.

Cameron Rice said he was on the pier when Hammonds jumped in.

"We heard a splash and we looked back and saw the guy jump in apparently to save another guy who jumped in," Rice said. "I saw a lot of wave moving and everyone started panicking. Shortly after that the cops came."

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office divers joined Florida Wildlife Commission, Clay County Sheriff's Office dive team, and Green Cove Springs Police Department marine unit in the search for the two men.

Trending on ActionNewsJax.com:

Police said a man jumped into the river at a Green Cove Springs pier to try to help a man who went under but neither resurfaced: http://bit.ly/1qRFiUU

Posted by Action News Jax on Sunday, April 17, 2016