Body Of Missing Canoer Found In Red River

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Photo: Video by NewsChannel5.com

Body Of Missing Canoer Found In Red River

CREATED May 21, 2014
ROBERTSON COUNTY, Tenn. – The body of a Portland man has been pulled from the Red River, five days after he went missing while canoeing.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency confirmed that the body of Charles Gourley was found Wednesday morning. His family had earlier told NewsChannel 5 that information.

The 32-year-old and his fiancé, Lacey Henson, were canoeing on the Red River in Robertson County Saturday afternoon, when he somehow fell out of the boat. Gourley reportedly made an attempt to get back into the boat but lost his grip and went under water.

Officials with the Robertson County Sheriff’s Office said the couple was apparently not wearing life jackets.

Henson was able to make it to shore and was not harmed in the incident.

Gourley’s dad told NewsChannel 5 Wednesday that the family “couldn’t thank everyone enough for their prayers and support through this difficult time.”

Several local departments responded to the scene, including the Adams Fire Department, the Clay County Rescue Department and Montgomery County Rescue. The Tennessee Highway Patrol briefly launched one of its helicopters on Saturday to determine if he someone managed to make his way to the shore.

John Tooley, with Red River Canoe, was on the river helping other canoers load their boats when he got a call that someone was in trouble upstream.

He was one of the first responders to the area. 

"She [Lacey Henson] was sitting in the canoe and I just pulled up next to her and put her in the canoe with me and brought her to where I saw the Sheriff's Department," said Tooley. 

Even though outside temperatures had seen a warming trend over the past few weeks, the temperature of the water was said to be only 55 degrees. At such a frigid temperature, hypothermia could have set in after 10 minutes of exposure.