Smokey Barn News
Wednesday May 21, 2014
Adams, Tenn. Robertson County
Red River Boater (Charles Gourley) FOUND
The body of the missing Red River Boater Charles Gourley was located this morning, according to Robertson County Emergency Management Agency Director R.L. Douglas. Gourley’s body was found just after 9:00AM a short distance down river from where his fiance said the accident occurred. Gourley went missing after falling out of a canoe on the red river in Adams last Saturday. Gourley, 32, was boating with his fiance 29 year old Lacy Henson who tried to save him but the water was too cold, Gourley was not wearing a life-vest.
According to Douglas, the search dogs actually “hit” on the location where the body was recovered this morning back on Monday but dive teams then were not able to locate the body due to the underwater topography and the fast moving current. A special dive team from the Tennessee Highway Patrol was called in to join the search today. Just as the team was preparing to make their first dive the body was spotted near the surface of the water.
Gourley was removed from the river and is in route to the coroner’s office in Nashville.
According to Doug Markham, public information officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, an investigation will now begin starting with a toxicology report. There will likely be no charges filed, Markham said.
Along with the THP, there was a diverse team ready to go this morning, Markham said. “We had the search dogs, helicopters, boats, divers, EMS, EMA, Adams Fire and the Robertson County Sheriff’s Department, Markham said.
“We were all ready to go when the body was found, now after five days of searching, we’re all heading home” Douglas said.
It’s just a sad situation and a life changing event for Gourley’s family and especially his fiance Lacy Henson who will now be planning a funeral instead of a wedding.
Smokey’s thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of Charles Gourley as they look to a future with out him.
Markham said that since January there have been 27 boating related accidents and 6 fatalities in the state of Tennessee. In a few days we’ll be kicking off the Memorial Day weekend and the Red River is likely to be covered with people, please be sure to enjoy your selves but remember, experienced boater or not, please wear your life-vests.
Smokey Barn News
Monday May 19, 2014
Adams, Tenn. Robertson County
UPDATE: Red River Boater (Charles Gourley) Missing 3 Days, What’s Next?
After three days of searching with divers, dogs, helicopters and boats, what’s next in the search for Charles Gourley. Gourley went missing on Saturday while boating with his fiance and he has not been seen since. Smokey met with officials Monday to find out how the search is going and what’s next. http://youtu.be/CzCfc_bwRb8
Smokey Barn News
Saturday May 17, 2014
Adams, Tenn. Robertson County (SEE UPDATES BELOW)
A man and a woman were canoeing on the Red River Saturday when their canoe overturned shortly after noon. The Portland woman said she lost sight of the man after he fell out of the boat and he has not been seen since. http://youtu.be/nNIhyUquFOs
Officials with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (T.W.R.A) are in charge if investigating the accident and they have released the name of the missing man. Charles Keith Gourley, 32, of Portland was boating with his fiance, Lacy Henson, 29, also of Portland, according to Doug Markham, public information officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.
Crews from Adams fire and EMA are currently searching for the man believed to be in his early 30’s. The search is about to be turned over to the Robertson County Sheriff’s Dept. The Tennessee Highway Patrol will also be assisting with a helicopter in the search efforts for the missing man. Officials are planning to drag the river as of 3:30pm this afternoon.
The location that the canoe over turned can bee seen on this Google Map.
UPDATE: Sunday May 18, 2014
Crews resumed searching for the missing boater Charles Gourley early Sunday morning but as of 10:00AM there is no change in the situation. The process of search and recovery at this point is very labor intensive and as Smokey indicated in our video report above, the cold temperature of the water will slow the recovery process.
Officials said it could be hours, days or weeks, there’s just know way to know. We also know that the couple was familiar with river boating but chose not to where life-vests. According to Doug Markham, public information officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, part of the process of investigating an accident is to look for ways to improve safety for boaters in the future, many boating deaths can be avoided if boaters would utilize life-vests.
We have heard some speculation on whether alcohol played a factor in this accident and we did ask Markham if that was a factor here. He said, “We are not ruling it in or out at this point. There is just no real way to know until a toxicology report can be done. Everything outside of an actual blood test would be merely speculative.”
One can only guess what the family is going through. There is nothing they can do but wait and hope for a miracle but as more and more time goes by a miracle seems less and less likely.
Smokey is continuing to follow this story and we will bring you new developments as soon as they become available.
UPDATE: Sunday May 18th 2014 5:00PM
Day two has now come and gone with no change in the situation, the man has still not been located. Doug Markham, public information officer for the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, said without looking at hard numbers it seemed a little unusual that the body has not been located so far. “Normally in a larger body of water we would expect it to take a few days but in a smaller situation like we have here it’s a little unusual that we haven’t found him yet.”
Search efforts have again been called off for the day and will resume tomorrow. Crews have been using numerous methods to locate the body including sonar, Markham said.
For the family the pain of waiting must be unbearable.
UPDATE: Monday May 19th 2014
Day three and still no sign of Charles Gourley, even with an estimated 56 people involved in the search, according to Robertson County Emergency Management Agency director R.L. Douglas. Cadaver dogs (which can locate a body even under water) were also used to try and locate the man. With all the personnel, time and equipment, along with the shallow nature of that part of the river, T.W.R.A at the scene are again saying that it’s a little unusual that he has not been located.
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