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Fisherman's body recovered from Lake Wheeler

Posted June 23, 2011

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— Authorities recovered the body of a fisherman who apparently fell overboard in Lake Wheeler on Thursday afternoon. 

The search for Larry Alton Gore's body began shortly after 9 a.m. after a couple driving across the Penny Road bridge reported an overturned boat. 

Police found a hat, fishing rods and coolers floating in the water near the 14-foot jon boat, which was about 75 yards from the bridge. They said there was no visible damage to the craft.

Members of the N.C. Canine Emergency Response team recovered the body of Gore, 67, of Raleigh, just after 3 p.m. They said he was fishing by himself. 

Raleigh police said from eyewitness accounts it appears Gore was standing on the boat when he fell out.

Gore's body was sent to the medical examiner's office to determine the cause of death. 

Gore's long-time girlfriend, Lonnie Walker, said he was an avid fisherman who knew how to swim. He bought his boat two months ago. 

"I really don't know what happened. They were saying a bystander saw the boat and when they saw him come under the bridge, it was capsized," Walker said. 

Walker said Gore went fishing early for a cook out he and his neighbors were having at Lake Wheeler.

"He was a real good guy. We've been together 30 years. That's my long love. I'm going to sure miss him," Walker said. 

Gore's family said they take solace in knowing that he died in a place where he found so much peace. His niece, Sherry Rogers, said Gore taught her sons to fish. 

"He loved to fish," Rogers said. "Even my oldest grandson went fishing with him." 

Lonnie Walker Family grieves over fisherman's death

The search marked the second time in a week that a fisherman went missing on Lake Wheeler and in relatively the same area. 

Authorities found a boat adrift on the lake between Penny and Lake Wheeler roads on Saturday and a pair of shoes along the shore. Searchers found the body of Darryl Raynard Kimble, 49, early Sunday.

Police haven't determined whether Kimble fell in the lake or had an accident that caused him to drown.

Raleigh police and firefighters, Wake County deputies, paramedics from Wake County EMS and Apex EMS and Fairview Fire Department firefighters were searching the lake Thursday. A state Highway Patrol helicopter aided the effort.

59 Comments

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  • leo-nc Jun 24, 2011

    Nick you are exactly right. You NEVER KNOW what can happen. I'm a good swimmer too but I never go into a boat without a PFD. EVER.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 24, 2011

    meargle - "I've grown up around Lake Wheeler and have fished in it many times. It has always been common knowledge that it is full of Hydrilla. There is a reason that swimming is not allowed and there have been numerous incidents in the past."

    We've swum across Lake Wheeler many times, right straight across. With hydrilla in the water, it was indeed foolish, and we did it in swimsuits. Doing it fully clothed would no doubt be much more difficult.

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jun 24, 2011

    smaki - "my take on the situation was that bystanders saw him standing in the boat, then the boat floated under the bridge and when it reappeared it was empty."

    And upside down.

    Praying for those who loved this fellow. Sad situation for all.

  • wildcat Jun 24, 2011

    My condolences to the family and many friends he left behind. Continue to hold on to God's unchanging hands and He will see all of you through this difficult time. Earth has no sorrow that Heaven cannot remove.

  • smaki1252 Jun 24, 2011

    @cghsmom.....my take on the situation was that bystanders saw him standing in the boat, then the boat floated under the bridge and when it reappeared it was empty.

  • SaltlifeLady Jun 24, 2011

    Are the "bystanders" the people who were driving across the bridge or did someone else see this happen and not report it to police?

  • meargle Jun 24, 2011

    I've grown up around Lake Wheeler and have fished in it many times. It has always been common knowledge that it is full of Hydrilla. There is a reason that swimming is not allowed and there have been numerous incidents in the past.

    As a fisherman, it would be dishonest to say that I regularly wear a life vest (which is the same for the average fisherman regardless of what they say here), but there are always flotation devices in the boat. If Hydrilla wraps about you, it is very difficult to swim and keep yourself afloat.

    Unfortunate about this guy. Boat fishing alone is a bad idea.

  • warbirdlover Jun 24, 2011

    I read a report one time from the Coast Guard, that said 80% of males that fell overboard and drowned on small boats,had no PFD on, and had there pants unzippered and their wingwang out taking a pee, and lost their balance.

  • Dat MoFo Jun 23, 2011

    The only thing "going on" is two people fell out of boats and were not wearing life jackets. Swimming to shore in a lake fully clothed is very different than swimming across a swimming pool in swim trunks.

  • cheezchicken Jun 23, 2011

    How incredibly coincidental.

    Condolences to the families. Please always wear a PFD (personal flotation device) when doing anything around a body of water that is not your backyard swimming pool.

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