Man who went missing in Pamunkey River identified - KPTV - FOX 12

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Man who went missing in Pamunkey River identified

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Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12) Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12)
Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12) Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12)
Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12) Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12)
Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12) Crews searched the Pamunkey River for a missing boater on Labor Day (Source: NBC12)
NEW KENT, VA (WWBT) -

The New Kent Sheriff's Office has identified a man who went missing in the Pamunkey River on Sunday.

Deputies suspended the recovery effort for 68-year-old William G. Hodges of Providence Forge on Monday afternoon.

Authorities still have not located Hodges, after spending the better part of two days searching the river by air and water.

Hodges boat stalled around 1 p.m. Sunday off of Cumberland Road and he tried to swim around 300 yards back to the shoreline, according to witnesses. Hodges went under and never resurfaced. Sheriffs do not believe anyone else was inside the boat.

People on shore called 911 and crews rushed to the scene. A deputy tried to swim to the boat, made it around 200 yards, but was unable to find Hodges and swam back to shore.

Martha Martin watched from shore as her longtime friend and colleague slipped beneath the waves of the raging Pamunkey River.

The two were at the Cumberland Plantation for a meeting when her friend decided to put the craft into the water in preparation for a boat ride after their meeting.

Martha says the engine stalled so her friend jumped in the water with hopes of pulling the boat back to the shore.

"He was about in an arms distance of the boat and he went under and we yelled at him he didn't say anything and then he went under twice more and then we didn't see him again," Martin said.

On Monday, recovery crews with several law enforcement agencies search relentlessly for hours on the water and in the air.

Martha says it is still hard to believe that 24 hours ago her friend was alive and well. She is still coming to terms with the fact she may never see him alive again.

It's ripping open wounds that Martha mended 10 years ago.

Her daughter and son-in-law lost their lives at the hands of a treacherous river when their boat overturned.

"My daughter died like this in Montana and that is what went through my mind... I thought I can't do this again," Martin said.

Martha who has been on site all day continues to think and reflect on the man she says died doing what he loved.

"He was a very giving person and had a love for history beyond anything that I knew," Martin said.

Teams suspended their search efforts Sunday at nightfall, with the mission shifting to a recovery operation.

The search area was concentrated around Cumberland Point, where first responders describe the current as extremely strong.

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