Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Sebree man drowns in fishing accident

Charles "Mike" Taylor

J-E News Editor
The search for a missing man ended in tragedy on Sunday when search and rescue personnel located the body of Charles Michael Taylor, 46 of Sebree, at the bottom of a Sebree area pond.

Fish and Wildlife officer Josh Gunn, who assisted in the search, said that Taylor had apparently gone fishing in a canoe on Saturday afternoon. At some point the small boat had overturned and he was dumped out. Gunn added that they were told that Taylor was unable to swim.
According to Gunn, the coroner’s report listed the death as accidental drowning. There was no foul play involved.
“At 6:57 pm on Saturday June 14, Webster County 911 received a call about a possible drowning at 1456 Watkins Sebree Road,” Webster County EMA Director Jeremy Moore said in a prepared statement on Monday. “Rescue units were dispatched to the scene and immediately began searching by land and water for the missing subject.”
Authorities utilized a number of search techniques, including land search operations, drag operations and diving. At around 11:00 p.m. Moore said that conditions worsened to the point that efforts had to be halted for the night.
The search began again at 7:00 a.m. on Saturday.
Gunn said that in most warm weather drowning cases the body will surface on it’s own, but the water in this particular pond remained cold despite 90 degree air temperatures.
“We were afraid that because the water was so cold, he wouldn’t surface on his own,” Gunn explained. “So we made the decision to drain the lake.”
Gunn said that Merle Yoder Excavating volunteered their time and equipment to help with this effort.
At approximately 6:08 p.m. Taylor’s body was recovered. 
Approximately 50 rescue personnel were on the scene both Saturday and Sunday. They included: Webster County Search and Rescue, Webster County EMS, Webster County Sheriffs Office, Webster County Emergency Management, Sebree Fire Rescue, Poole Fire Rescue, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife, KSP, Henderson City / County Rescue, Henderson Fire Dept Dive Team, Area 2 Dive Rescue, American Red Cross, Merle Yoder Excavating, Sebree Public Works, Sebree Police Department, Webster County Coroners Office and K-9 Rescue (Indiana).
“I’ve worked a lot of drownings in my career,” said Gunn. “I’ve never seen anybody work as hard as this group did. The Sebree Fire Department was unbelievable, especially Rob Hensley.”
A memorial services for Charles Michael Taylor will be held Friday at 11:00 a.m. at Tomblinson Funeral Home Sebree Chapel. The family has asked for memorial contributions to be made to Webster County Search and Rescue.
His memorial at Tomblinson said that Taylor worked at Hydro Aluminum in Henderson, was a member of the NRA, a Kentucky Colonel and an avid hunter and fisherman.

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