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.
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."