Fisherman Believed Drowned

Monday, November 17, 2008 - by Richard Simms

Family members have identified a man missing and believed drowned, as 62-year-old Carson Edwards.

Edwards was fishing out of a canoe of Friday on the Tennessee River in the vicinity of the Hwy. 60 Bridge in Rhea County. No one saw him go down, however his canoe was found empty and his tackle box floating downstream.

Search crews were on the water all weekend and more today looking in the area where Edwards was last spotted fishing.

Rhea County Sheriff Mike Neal is heading the search in cooperation with the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency (TWRA).

TWRA officer Matt Majors is also investigating. Majors said there were no witnesses so at this point they can only assume there was a drowning.

Majors said the water temperature was about 57 degrees.

"Iit wouldn't take very long even for a strong swimmer to succumb to the cold water," said Majors.

He said for now they are searching using an expensive side-scan sonar unit which can actually provide a detailed image of the bottom. Majors says that sometimes the units have been successful in locating drowning victims. He said however that it is more difficult in this case due to the water depth, the wide area to be search and amount of debris on the bottom.

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