Bodies of two boaters found in Chowan River

Posted at 3:52 PM, May 11, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-11 22:54:30-04

Gates County, N.C. – The bodies of two men whose boat sank on the Chowan River Saturday have been located.

According to Gates County Sheriff Ed Webb, the body of Ervin Curtis Hedgepath, 67, was recovered Saturday.

Crews found the body of Herman Wayne Greene, 59, Sunday morning.

Janita Thomason lives in the apartment right below Greene. She says when she noticed he never came back from fishing, she had that gut feeling something was wrong.

“That is not like Wayne. He’ll just go fishing and go straight home, so that wasn’t like him at all so I had a feeling something is not right,” she said.  “It really hurts.”

Emergency crews received calls Saturday around 3 p.m. about a boat that sank on the Chowan River.  It happened about a mile south of the North Carolina/Virginia line.

According to Webb, witnesses told emergency responders that it looked like the boat hit something in the river and began to sink.

“They heard a slam or a bang and the next thing they know you look down the river and see them in the boat hollering for help and it appeared that the boat actually sank from underneath them.”

He says the two men tried to swim ashore, but disappeared.  Sheriff Webb says the loss of the two lives is impacting the small North Carolina County.

“It’s a shock. Everybody knew these gentlemen, they were home folks here in the county. Everyone will miss them,” he said.