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Accident Description


Kentucky man missing after canoe capsizes in Big South Fork River

Posted: Apr 18, 2011 10:54 AM EDT ONEIDA (WATE) - Searchers are looking for a Kentucky man who went missing when the canoe he and two other people were in capsized in Big South Fork River on April 13. Tim Godfrey, 29, of Pine Knot, Kentucky, and the others were canoeing in swift water, according to officials with Big South Fork National Recreation Area. The canoe capsized about two miles downstream from Yamacraw Bridge, which is on Kentucky Highway 92.

Efforts are being hampered by flood conditions caused by heavy rain over the area Friday night and early Saturday morning. Due to use by emergency vehicles and watercraft, the Alum Ford boat ramp may be closed at times. On Monday, searchers were once again out looking for a Pine Knot man missing since Wednesday when his canoe capsized in the Big South Fork River.29 year old Tim Godfrey was canoing with two companions when they capsized in swift water. The accident happened approximately two miles downstream from Yamacraw Bridge, which is located on Kentucky Highway 92. Efforts are currently being hampered by flood conditions, created by heavy rain over the area Friday night and early Saturday morning. Due to use by emergency vehicles and watercraft, the Alum Ford boat ramp may be closed for periods of time while emergency operations are being conducted. Previous story

Rescuers continue their search for a McCreary County man missing since Wednesday in the Big South Fork River and Recreation Area.According to a spokesman with the National Park Service, 29 year old Tim Godfrey of Pine Knot and two other men were in a canoe on the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River Wednesday when the canoe overturned. The other two men were able to swim to safety, but Godfrey went under and hasn't been seen since.

Sunday afternoon six boats of rescue workers and four ground crews continued to search a 14 mile stretch of the river. Boats from the National Park Service, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, McCreary County Rescue Squad and volunteers are searching the water while the ground crews comb the riverbank.Friday and Saturday's rainfall hampered search efforts earlier in the weekend but the Park spokesman says that the river's level has dropped considerably. Water was flowing Saturday at 42,000 cubic feet per second but has since slowed to a quarter of that.The spokesman says they will continue to search until dark Sunday, then continue Monday morning if they don't locate Godfrey.

Godfrey's family members tell 10 News that he graduated from Bearden High School, but has been living in McCreary County for several years. They say he has a wife and two children.

Body Of Missing Canoeist Located In Cumberland River

Posted: Apr 15, 2011

Cumberland River Rescue crews in McCreary County confirmed Friday afternoon that they have located the body of the man who fell out of a canoe and into the Cumberland River Wednesday, but have not yet been able to recover the body from the river.Crews from several agencies have combed the water near the Alum Ford on the Big South Fork of the river. That's where a canoe carrying 29-year-old Tim Godfrey and two other men capsized.The other two were able to make it back to land, but Godfrey was nowhere to be found.The National Forest Service says crews were able to locate Godfrey's body earlier Friday, but it's in a difficult location to get to. They are working to get the body out before storms predicted later Friday reach McCreary County, at which point they will have to suspend the recovery effort until the weather clears.

(News from Mon April 18, 2011) DESPITE FALSE REPORTS, CREWS STILL SEARCHING FOR MISSING CANOEIST Friday afternoon, WHAY Radio falsely reported that search crews had located the body of missing canoeist Tim Godfrey in the Big South Fork River. These reports initiated from WKYT Television in Lexington which was reporting the information that crews had located and were retrieving Godfrey’s body from the raging waters. We first apologize for the miscommunication and provide an update to this story.

Following the reports Friday, officials with the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area finally released their first press release on the search effort. According to that release, which was issued over the weekend, search efforts are continuing but are being hampered by flood conditions created by heavy rain, especially Friday night and Saturday. The Big South Fork also announces that due to the need for emergency vehicles and boats in the area, the Alum Ford Boat Ramp may be closed for periods of time as the search effort continues. Tim Godfrey, a 29 year old staff member at Pine Knot Job Corps, was last seen at about 2:30pm Wednesday when his canoe capsized in the Big South Fork. Two other occupants of that canoe swam to safety while Godfrey was reportedly swept under the water.