Search continues for man believed drowned in Jordan Lake
Posted May 12, 2013
Updated May 13, 2013
Pittsboro, N.C. — Crews resumed their search Monday for a Chatham County man who fell into Jordan Lake on Sunday while out boating with his family.
Firefighters said Ricky Hill, 50, of Siler City, is presumed dead and that the search is now a recovery mission. The mission got under way about 8:30 a.m. and ended about 5:30 p.m. It will begin again Tuesday morning.
"There are so many variables that take place out here with the water temperature, the wind, current," said Sgt. Reggie Barker of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. "But we're not quitting, and we're going to keep searching."
Deputy Chief Mark Riggsbee, with the North Chatham Volunteer Fire Department, said Hill and another family member were on an inner-tube that was being pulled by a boat when he fell into the water around 3 p.m. Sunday and never resurfaced.
Hill was at the lake with his wife and grandchildren. Alcohol was not a factor, and there were no boating violations, Barker said.
He said Hill was not wearing a life jacket but knew how to swim and had no known medical problems.
Authorities were called Sunday to the Vista Point boat ramp on North Pea Ridge Road in Pittsboro, where divers and crews using underwater sonar searched for Hill until nightfall.
The portion of the lake is as deep as 18 feet, Riggsbee said.
Searchers on Monday were helped by sniffer dogs, including two brought in from Fayetteville that are specially trained in water recovery. Ten to 15 agencies were involved in the search.
The family did not want to speak with reporters.
"They are considerably distraught," Barker said. "They're having a really hard time."