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Rescuers pull two others to safety after storm swamps 14-foot fishing boat
CANNELTON - A Taswell man drowned Sunday afternoon after the boat he and two friends were fishing from filled with water during a thunderstorm, sending them into the Ohio River near the Cannelton Locks and Dam.
County search-and-rescue members pulled the other two men to safety.
The body of 29-year-old Derrick Adams was recovered at 6:16 p.m. by Indiana conservation officers, assisted by the Perry County Rescue Squad, Kentucky Fish and Wildlife and Hancock County's search-and-rescue team.
Josh L. Decker, 28, of Evansville and Ross A. Polen, 28, of Jasper were pulled from the water and taken to Hafele Park in Cannelton. Neither was injured.
The two men told Cannelton police officers they and Adams were fishing downstream from the dam's gates when gusts of wind from a thunderstorm sent waves crashing over the bow of Adams' 14-foot jon boat. The three men tried to head to shore but the boat quickly filled with water. They were not wearing personal flotation devices at the time and were able to grab only one life preserver before entering the water. They said other PFDs were in a storage area in the front of the jon boat but they could not reach them.
Decker and Polen both held on to the single PFD but became separated from Adams, who was swimming toward the Kentucky shore when he disappeared from their view.
The boat was submerged by a few inches of water but did not sink. It was visible from the Indiana shore as rescue boats pulled Decker and Polen to safety and began a search for Adams.
Indiana conservation officers used a side-scanning sonar unit that helped them quickly locate the body. Adams' family members arrived at Hafele Park and were told the news.
Kentucky officials are leading an investigation, assisted by conservation officers and the Cannelton Police Department.