Off-duty NC FF believed to have drowned in river
A search for remains was ongoing as of Monday morning; the firefighter is assumed to have drowned after going under the water and not resurfacing
By Laura French
GREENVILLE, N.C. — An off-duty North Carolina firefighter is believed to have drowned while swimming in a river on Sunday.
The Greenville Fire-Rescue firefighter, whose identity has not been released, was boating with several other off-duty firefighters Sunday when he went into the Tar River to swim, according to WITN. The firefighter never resurfaced and is assumed to have drowned.
Rescue crews from several agencies searched for the firefighter's remains but did not find them on Sunday night, and continued the search on Monday morning.
The search was ongoing as of about 9 a.m. local time, according to an update shared by Greenville Fire-Rescue Chief Eric Griffin on Facebook.
"We will be here all day until we find our friend and our coworker," Griffin said in the video update. "I know that this is going to be a tremendous loss for our department but we will stay strong. We will work to find him and make sure that we comfort the family as well."
In addition to working full-time at Greenville-Fire Rescue, the firefighter also volunteered at the Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department.
"2 fire houses lost a great person today. Please keep his family and his fire house family in your prayers," the Red Oak Community Rural Fire Department said in a statement on Sunday night.
As we continue to search for our beloved friend and coworker today, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. ❤️🖤Posted by Greenville, N.C. Fire/Rescue on Monday, June 8, 2020