Local News

Hope dims for finding missing Falls Lake kayaker alive

Posted January 31, 2011 4:44 p.m. EST
Updated January 31, 2011 9:22 p.m. EST

— Search and rescue crews continued to scour Falls Lake on Monday for any sign of a kayaker who disappeared Sunday evening.

George Gregory Feeter, 39, is an experienced kayaker who enjoyed fishing on Falls Lake.

Several people called 911 at about 7 p.m. Sunday after they heard someone yelling for help on the lake. Searchers quickly found Feeter's kayak and some of his belongings about a half-mile from the boat launch in the Barton's Creek area of Fall Lake off Six Forks Road.

While dive teams probed the lake on Monday, other searchers walked the shoreline and used boats equipped with sonar. The Johnston County Sheriff's Office was sending a search dog Monday evening to help with the effort, and investigators also were getting another piece of sonar equipment from Craven County.

"We're hoping for the best, but it doesn't look real good," Wake County Sheriff Donnie Harrison said.

Harrison noted that, despite Sunday's unseasonably warm temperatures, the water in the lake remains frigid, which doesn't bode well for Feeter.

"If anybody was to fall in, the water temperature is about 38 degrees," he said. "You're looking at 15 minutes or less (before experiencing hypothermia) if you can't get back in your boat, and that's the concern that we have."

The search is hampered by obstructions like stumps and poor visibility in the water, but Harrison said weary searchers aren't giving up.

"We're gong to do everything we can to bring some closure to this," he said, adding that foul play isn't suspected in the case.

Feeter's family declined to comment Monday, saying they were focused on the search.

Sheriff's office spokeswoman Phyllis Stephens said searchers were at the lake until 10 p.m. Monday, and will resume searching at 9 a.m. Tuesday.