Kayaker who drowned on Tallapoosa River Tuesday identified - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports


Kayaker who drowned on Tallapoosa River Tuesday identified

(Source: WSFA 12 News) (Source: WSFA 12 News)
The recovered kayak. (Source: WSFA 12 News) The recovered kayak. (Source: WSFA 12 News)

Investigators have identified the kayaker whose body was pulled from the Tallapoosa River Wednesday morning as 31-year-old Tallassee resident Charles Edward Stewart, according to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency.

ALEA and Tallassee Fire Department officials recovered Stewart's body around 10:40 a.m.

Stewart was last seen Tuesday kayaking with a friend below Thurlow Dam, located in Tallassee, when he became displaced from his kayak and disappeared.

Marine patrol and local first responders launched a search Tuesday, recovering the lime green kayak before transitioning the rescue into a recovery effort.

Corporal Jess Thornton with ALEA confirmed those with Stewart said he was wearing a flotation device when he disappeared, but his body was found without the life vest. 

The Tallassee Fire Department noted Alabama Power immediately worked with the agency to reduce water flow in the area to keep first responders safe. Elmore County EMA joined in the search to coordinate outside resources including the Elmore County Sheriff's Office Dive Team, Montgomery Fire and Rescue, and the Friendship Fire Department. 

Firefighters credit local residents in the immediate rescue effort, who took first responders out on their personal boats. 

Tallassee Fire Department encourages all recreational kayakers to always use a flotation device and helmet to protect against the swift water conditions and exposed rocks in the river. 

ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division and Aviation Unit was assisted by the Tallassee Fire Department, Tallassee Police Department, Friendship Fire Department, Elmore County EMA, Haynes Ambulance, Haynes Lifeflight, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Division Delta Dive Team, Montgomery Fire Department Dive Team, Search and Rescue of Elmore County, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, as well as civilian bystanders. 

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