06/29/10 — Body of man who drown found at Busco Beach

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Body of man who drown found at Busco Beach

By Steve Herring
Published in News on June 29, 2010 1:46 PM


Members of the Arr-Mac Water Response Team and the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office Underwater Recovery Team search for a drowning victim at Busco Beach late Monday.

The body of a Rocky Mount man who apparently drowned early Monday evening at Busco Beach was recovered shortly after 11 a.m. this morning.

Sheriff Carey Winders said that Michael Gardner, 44, was at the lake with his wife and two daughters, ages 12 and 16. The lake is located off of U.S. 117 in the Mar Mac community south of Goldsboro.

Search crews spent five hours at the lake Monday evening before halting the search about 11:15 p.m. last night. Deputies remained on scene throughout the night to secure the area.

Close to a dozen swimmers and divers and two three-man boat crews from the Arr-Mac Water Response Team and Sheriff's Office Underwater Recovery Team criss-crossed an area of the lake using an underwater camera, drag lines and a cadaver dog in their efforts.

W.C. Hutchins, a volunteer chaplain with the Sheriff's Office, was on the scene to comfort family members as they watched the search. A number of other people watched from an area away from the emergency teams.

Gardner was fishing, while his family was in the water, Winders said.

The fishing pole that Gardner had been using was lying on the ground near the water's edge and at one point the fishing line became tangled in the drag line being used in the search.

The family told Winders that Gardner entered the water and they lost sight of him. The lake is about 7 to 8 feet deep in the area where Gardner went missing.

However, there are a number of deeper holes in the area, Winders said.

Rescue crews arrived shortly after 6 p.m. and began their search. A Mar Mac fire truck was brought in around 9 p.m. to provide light for the crews.

Mar Mac Fire Chief Bill Harrell said he returned to the scene about 6 a.m. Tuesday before going to work. The search resumed about 7:30 a.m., he said.

While the water is only about 7 1⁄2 feet deep, the up and down condition of the lake bed hampered search efforts, he said.

"The bottom has four or five feet of old sludge that you can stick your feet in and you go down into it," he said.