The body of the Lake Gaston boater who'd been missing since Sunday, April 3rd, Brian Harold, was recovered from Lake Gaston Wednesday morning, nine days after he went missing. Ronald Storey, the Director of Emergency Services in Northampton County says, "As search boats were being launched a call came in from a citizen reporting an unusual object inside the buoys of the search area. A search boat was sent to the area and the object was discovered to be the body of Mr Harold."
Harold, believed to be in his 40's, was from McGaheysville, Virginia. He and another man, Jeff Hitt of Grottoes, Va., were in the Lake Gaston area for a fishing tournament that weekend. On Sunday morning the two men are believed to have gone out on the water in the Wildwood Point area of the lake in Warren County to fish again when a boating accident occurred.
The other man on board the boat at the time of the accident, Jeff Hitt, was rescued and given CPR at the scene. He was later airlifted to a hospital. He reportedly suffered head injuries, broken ribs and a broken arm. He's been released now and is back at home.
“Mr. Hitt did have a flotation device on when he was pulled from the water,” Storey said. “Another flotation device was found in the area, but we are not sure if Mr. Harold had one on or not."
Officials aren't certain what caused the accident but the water was rough on Sunday and there is speculation their boat hit a wave, knocking the men overboard.
Roanoke Wildwood Volunteer Fire Department Chief Lorenzo Wilkins confirms the recovery and is expressing gratitude to all who helped in the more-than-a-week-long effort to locate Harold's body. "Nine days out we used up a lot of resources," he said. He also praised the multiple agencies and the nearby homeowners association which provided their clubhouse. He also thanked people in the area who, he said, constantly checked on the recovery team, bringing them coffee and snacks. "It was a real team effort," he said.