Other articles say that PFD’s were carried, but not worn!
Search conducted for man who fell in Yadkin
after canoe overturned
Wilkes, NC Journal-Patriot
Posted: Friday, June 15, 2018
At 9:30 p.m. Friday, emergency personnel were still searching a section of the Yadkin River between Ronda and Roaring River for a man who has been missing since the canoe he was in overturned about 4:15 p.m.
The search is for Damien Jamal Mayes, 25, of Parker Lane, Moravian Falls.
Mayes was in the canoe with Corin Palmer of Millers Creek when it overturned in the Yadkin near where the Red, White and Blue Road bridge crosses the river in the Roaring River community, said Roaring River Fire Chief Dale Pierce. This is a swift section of the river.
Pierce said Palmer stated that the boat became unsteady and overturned at some point while Mayes was removing his life jacket and then his shirt.
He said Palmer stated that he hung on to the canoe and was able to get to shore with the boat while Mayes was swept downstream by the current, apparently without a life jacket.
Pierce said emergency personnel were told that Mayes didn’t know how to swim. Mayes also said Palmer had no prior experience paddling a canoe
Johnny Alexander, owner and operator of Roaring River Canoe Rentals on Cotton Mill Road, Roaring River, said he rented the 15-foot-long Old Town canoe to the two men about 3 p.m. Friday.
Alexander said two life jackets and two paddles came with the canoe. “I made them put on the life jackets before they left,” he added.
Pierce said only one life jacket was recovered from the Yadkin.
Alexander said they were supposed to call him when they reached a stand of bamboo along the river, but he never received the call.
Alexander still went to the Ronda Town Park to meet Palmer and Mayes and provide them a shuttle back to their vehicle at Roaring River Canoe Rental as agreed. He was there waiting for them when he learned about Mayes being missing after the canoe overturned.
The Wilkes and Elkin rescue squads had boats in the water searching for Mayes. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission also provided two kayaks for the search and two wildlife enforcement agents were on the scene.
The staging area for the search was a gravel turnoff along N.C. 268 East, opposite the entrance to the Wilkes County Landfill. The gravel turnoff is near a Yadkin River access site with a ramp on county-owned land.
Palmer and relatives and friends of Mayes were at the staging area as the search was underway.
The search was conducted by members of the Wilkes Rescue Squad and the Roaring River, Ronda and Wilkesboro fire departments walking in teams along the river, as well as in the river with boats.
Cole Wyatt, chief of the Wilkes Rescue Squad, said the incident Friday was the sixth time this year the squad has been dispatched for water rescues.
Body of Missing Canoer Found at Yadkin River
The missing canoer at the Yadkin River was found Monday afternoon.
The Wilkes County Sheriff's Office confirms Mayes was found Monday around 2 p.m.
The sheriff’s office says Mayes’ body resurfaced to the top of the water. Mayes was discovered near from where he entered the river – near Red White and Blue road.