A body believed to be that of a boater reported missing on Saturday, March 16 was recovered on Saturday afternoon after another boater reported seeing a body in the water not far from Occoneechee State Park. The Department of Game and Inland Fisheries reported that the remains were recovered shortly thereafter.
The body is believed to be that of Edwin Barnes of Midlothian, Virginia, who was reported missing on March 16, at around 3:45 p.m., by his wife. According to reports, Barnes was checking a problem with the boat’s motor when he fell from the back of the boat. Barnes’s wife reportedly searched for her husband and notified the Mecklenburg 911 Center.
A spokesperson for the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries said that Barnes’s wife was unsure of exactly where her husband had fallen from the boat because he had told her to keep driving when he tried to find the problem with the engine.
The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, the Clarksville Volunteer Fire Department and the Mecklenburg Rescue Squad joined in a search near the Bluestone Creek Boat Ramp. The various agencies continued to search for Barnes until around 10 p.m. when the search was suspended until the following morning.
A total of eight boats and two dozen first responders joined in the search on Sunday.