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Search Continues for Possible Drowning Victim

Posted August 9, 2007

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— What began as a rescue effort to find a teenager who went missing in the Roanoke River became a recovery effort Thursday as dive teams searched a dam near the Roanoke River.

Greg Davis, 19, of Valentines, Va., and three other teens were diving into the waters by the Dominion Power Plant Wednesday when Davis got caught by the current, authorities said.

"It's not good. It's very dangerous. It's swirling water. It's an undercurrent," said Paul Nowell, director of the Roanoke Valley Rescue Squad. "And there's a turbine under the water that's producing electricity for the hydroelectric dam."

Searchers used sonar and underwater cameras to scan the river for the teen but recovery efforts were not an easy task, authorities said.

Deputies plan to call a recovery team from Johnston County that is specially equipped to handle fast-moving water.

Despite warning signs, authorities said, it is not unusual to find swimmers in the area called the "Tail Race."

"That's a very dangerous spot, and it's claimed many lives in the past," said Maj. Bill Wheeler with the Northampton County Sheriff's Office.

"We try to discourage it, and we try to tell people how dangerous it is," Nowell said. "People do it a thousand times, but this time, it turned tragic."