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Missing Boater’s Body Found After Five Day Search

New River Gorge National River

National Park News

On Wednesday, May 16th, a 911 dispatch center notified patrol rangers that a boating accident had been reported on the river and that a man was missing. After interviews with witnesses, rangers determined that the accident had occurred in Silo Rapid, located about two-and-a-half miles upriver from Stone Cliff campground. Hasty search teams in six boats searched both river banks for a distance of four miles downstream from where the victim was last seen. The muddy river, flowing nine feet above normal for this time of year due to heavy rains, made search operations difficult. The initial search was suspended at dark. From Thursday until Sunday, crews worked the pools and eddies below the accident site with drags, sonar, and probe poles. Volunteers assisted in the search by combing the river banks and working eddies from the bank side. All commercial rafting and fishing companies were notified of the incident. On Saturday night there was a one foot rise in the river level and on early Sunday morning the members of a commercial fishing trip reported a body floating about three-and-a-half miles downriver from the accident site. The victim, Bradley Alexander, was recovered by river rangers. His body has been sent to the medical examiner's office for an autopsy.  Oak Hill Fire Department water rescue, the West Virginia Department of Natural Resources, Jan-Care Ambulance, a cadaver dog team, the Fayette County Sheriff's Department and numerous volunteers assisted with the search efforts. Eric Oaks served as the incident commander.



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