GATES COUNTY, N.C. (WAVY) – Rescue crews recovered the body of a second boater who went missing in the Chowan River Saturday.
Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb said 67-year-old Ervin Curtis Hedgepeth’s body was recovered and identified. Crews recovered the body of 59-year-old Herman Wayne Greene Sunday morning. The Sheriff said both men were from Gates County.
“Both of these gentlemen were well respected in the community,” said Webb. “Both of them have long, extensive families in the community.”
Webb also said the families of Hedgepeth and Greene “were devastated” and “taking it pretty hard.”
Webb said the bodies of the two men were found 60 yards from where the boat sank.
Webb told WAVY.com emergency responders received a call about a boat that sank around 3 p.m. It happened about a mile south of the state border.
Officer Chase Vaughan, with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, said the cause of the accident is still unknown.
Witnesses told responders a boat appeared to hit something the river, and then sank. Witnesses said two men on the boat were screaming for help, and tried to swim to shore but disappeared. Vaughan said debris, such as coolers and fishing equipment, were floating in the water when he arrived on scene.
The boat was recovered on Sunday.
Vaughan said the next thing to happen will be a thorough inspection of the boat, which will ideally identify a cause.