Eure man drowns in private pond

Published 10:03 am Tuesday, August 29, 2017

EURE – A leisurely evening stroll turned tragic near here last week where a Gates County man drowned in a private pond off Sand Banks Road.

The body of 47-year-old Lonnie David Powell of Sand Banks Road was recovered around 1 a.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 23 by emergency responders, according to Gates County Sheriff Randy Hathaway.

“It appears that Mr. Powell was out walking his dog and decided to go for a swim in that pond,” Sheriff Hathaway said. “We later learned that Mr. Powell frequently visited that pond to go swimming. When he didn’t return home in a timely manner on this particular evening, we received a call from a member of his family in reference that he was overdue from his evening walk.”

Hathaway said that call came in after 9 p.m. and he immediately dispatched emergency responders to the pond, which was located less than one mile from Powell’s home.

Gates County Emergency Management Director Billy Winn was among those responding to the scene.

“Mr. Powell’s personal belongings were found near the pond, to include his dog, so we assumed he was in the water,” Winn stated.

Winn summoned the assistance of the Northeast Search and Rescue Team, a sonar equipped boat from Hertford County Emergency Management, and a helicopter from the North Carolina State Highway Patrol.

“The pond, about six to eight acres in size, is in a fairly open area, so we also searched the shoreline and in the general area of the pond just in case Mr. Powell had made it to shore,” Winn noted.

Sheriff Hathaway said Powell’s body was recovered in six feet of water approximately 15 yards from the shore.

The body was sent for an autopsy. The Sheriff said there were no apparent injuries to the body and he does not expect foul play to be involved.

About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

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