Body of NC firefighter recovered from river

Greenville Firefighter Gary Cox Jr., 24, drowned while on a boating trip with other off-duty firefighters Sunday


By Laura French

GREENVILLE, N.C. — The body of a North Carolina firefighter who drowned while on a boating trip with other off-duty firefighters has been found after a search that spanned three days

Greenville Firefighter Gary Cox Jr., 24, who also volunteered with the Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department, had gone swimming in the Tar River with the three other firefighters but never made it to the shore they were swimming to and disappeared, according to WITN

His body was recovered from the river on Tuesday morning, and a procession of first responders was held "bringing our brother home," the Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department wrote on Facebook

 

Bringing our brother home.

Posted by The Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Agencies including the Greenville and Red Oak fire departments, the Greenville Police Department, Vidant Company Police Department and East Carolina University Police Department, as well as city employees, friends and family, saluted Cox as his body was escorted in an ambulance into Greenville. 

Greenville police are investigating the death but said they have no reason to suspect foul play. 

Cox was still completing training to become a career Greenville firefighter, according to WITN. 

A celebration of life ceremony was held Tuesday night at the Red Oak firehouse in Cox's memory. 

"Gary was a valued member of the Red Oak Fire Department. He has such a positive attitude and kindness that made everyone feel comfortable," the department wrote in a Facebook post. "He worked hard for our citizens to provide high quality service. He will be greatly missed by his Red Oak Family." 

 

The body of our beloved Red Oak Volunteer firefighter and City of Greenville career firefighter has been recovered from...

Posted by The Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department on Tuesday, June 9, 2020
 

Celebration of Life for the 51 House. Rest easy brother we have it from here. #51Strong #FroglvlMisfits #GaryStrong

Posted by The Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department on Tuesday, June 9, 2020

 

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