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Family members wait as search resumes for man missing in Jordan Lake

Posted May 14, 2013

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— The search for the body of a man missing in Jordan Lake stretched into a third day Tuesday as anxious family members waited on shore.

Authorities brought in a plane to conduct an aerial search while crews in the water continued using sniffer dogs and sonar to try to find Ricky Hill. The 50-year-old Siler City man was on a family outing at the lake Sunday afternoon when he fell from an inner-tube into the water and never resurfaced.

Authorities have said alcohol was not a factor, and there were no boating violations. Hill, who is presumed dead, was not wearing a life jacket but knew how to swim and had no known medical problems.

Hill’s family members had requested privacy Sunday and Monday, but they spoke with WRAL News on Tuesday about the man they described as “poppy” to his six grandchildren.

“Ricky was the serious person in the family,” said Bill Lundsford, his brother-in-law. “He was family strong. Good father, hard worker. He loved his family.”

Hill lived in Siler City for 26 years and was married for 29 years. He loved to fish and spend his free time at the lake, Lundsford said.

Hill also had a great sense of humor.

“For us, my sister and myself, Ricky was the target of all of our abuse,” Lundsford said. “He took it like a champion, and no matter what we said and how much we picked on him, he knew that we loved him and it was all in fun.”

Lundsford recalled that his father gave Hill a hard time about marrying Lundsford’s sister and made him sign a contract. It proved unnecessary because Hill was “a great man,” he said.

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  • Lightfoot3 May 15, 2013

    My boat rules are that all passengers being towed on tubes or skis MUST wear life jackets, absolutely no exceptions.

  • one May 14, 2013

    Big D 87

    State law only requires that the boat contains 1 PFD per person on teh boat & being towed. It does not require the wearing of the PFD unless a person is 13 or younger & teh boat is underway.

    teh law is different for PWC (jetskies) where the operator of the PWC & the person being towed must both be wearing a PFD.

  • racinjunki May 14, 2013

    NoTimeForStupidity, live up to your name.

    I can't tell all I know, but I can tell anyone with 100% certainty there is nothing fishy going on here. I am very close to the situation, there are a few details not being told and due to privacy I will not reveal either. NCVFD said their sonar is virtually unusable. Due to the temperature of the water, there is a heavy layer of silt that sonar will not penetrate and currents are strong where they are searching.

  • mojaintsmall May 14, 2013

    Tubing not wearing a life jacket doesnt always end up very well.

  • Big D 87 May 14, 2013

    He wasn't wearing a life jacket. State law says that when pulling some one they must wear a life vest, and its the operators responsibility to make them wear one! So sad I will praying for the family.

  • WralCensorsAreBias May 14, 2013

    Something fishy going on here. They should have found this guy days ago.

  • marciamal1 May 14, 2013

    So sad- my thoughts and prayers for the family of this man. I praise the rescue team for all their efforts into finding this man. I've always preached to my children - wear your life jackets for safety purposes.

  • chrisnrali May 14, 2013

    very sad to hear this happened. But, please use a life jacket while on the lake. You never know if there is a stump, rock or log just under the surface. Also, if you fall off of whatever and loose your breath and inhale a little water it just snowballs into an inhaling more water than air situation. Rip.