UPDATED: Washington Man Dies In Fathers Day Drowning

A Fathers Day outing ends tragically for one family here in the East. Search and rescue crews Monday morning recovered the body of a man missing since Sunday evening.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says John Douglas Phelps and his son were out on their boat Sunday in the Pamlico River. The son told lawmen that his father jumped into the water to take a dip and he never came back up.

A Coast Guard Auxiliary boat crew found the body at 10:45 a.m.about 2 miles southeast of the mouth of Chocowinity Bay, near Hills Point.

Rescue crews searched the area until early Monday morning and then resumed their efforts around 10:00 a.m.

Authorities say the 57-year-old Phelps lived in Washington.

An autopsy is being performed to determine the exact cause of his death.


The search has resumed for a missing swimmer in Beaufort County.

The person was last seen late Sunday afternoon in Chocowinity Bay. Emergency Management coordinator John Pack says the person decided to take a swim in the Pamlico River from a pleasure boat.

The Coast Guard says this is an open search and rescue mission.

The Coast Guard has helicopters in the air as well as boats in the water. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office also has a boat assisting in the search.


Previous Story

The search for a person who disappeared in the water has been called off for the time being, but is expected to resume later Monday morning.

The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office said at 9 a.m. Monday that the search had not yet resumed and that they were "working on getting a boat back in the water."

Officials in Beaufort County say crews spent the night searching for a person in Chocowinity Bay who may have drowned Sunday. Helicopters were part of the search team late Sunday night.

Beaufort County Emergency Manager John Pack tells WITN the search was called off around 5 a.m. Monday but will resume later in the morning.

The name of the person crews are looking for has not been released.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by gemi Location: mobile al on Jun 25, 2009 at 07:44 PM
    i love you all.. i am so sorry for you lose
  • by R Location: Gates County on Jun 25, 2009 at 07:23 PM
    Our children have grown up together and our sons are close friends. My prayers are for the whole family and I hope his youngest sons will find strength following this tragic event.
  • by Mac & Catherine Location: McColl, SC on Jun 24, 2009 at 04:14 PM
    we will miss doug sooo much. he was much more than an associate; he was a true friend. we pray for his family.
  • by AG Lassiter Equipment Location: Washington, NC on Jun 23, 2009 at 01:28 PM
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you during this terrible tragedy in your life. May you find comfort in all the good times that you shared as a family. If there is anything that we can do, please contact us.
  • by teacher next door to mrs phelps at NES Location: wash on Jun 23, 2009 at 03:19 AM
    Mrs Phelps, I am so sorry for your unexpected loss. I am praying for you and your family. I am so sorry.
  • by Bridgette Story Location: Pinetown on Jun 22, 2009 at 08:27 PM
    To the family: May you find comfort in memories and strength in each other's love throughout this very difficult time. You will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
  • by Jess Location: Washington on Jun 22, 2009 at 07:24 PM
    I will truly miss Mr.Doug. The Phelps family is like a second one to me. I have known them for many years and they have always welcomed me with open arms. Mr. Doug always was warm hearted and passionate. He was always there to listen and give you advice. He talked highly of his family and loved them dearly. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I love you all! Mr. Doug... you will be greatly missed and never forgotten!
  • by Just a girl Location: Wmst on Jun 22, 2009 at 06:18 PM
    God Bless this family, my thoughts and prayers are with you all.
  • by Allen Location: Greenville on Jun 22, 2009 at 05:41 PM
    Mrs. Phelps, the whole crew at RW Moore is deeply sorry for your loss. All of us who worked with Doug held him in the highest esteem. Please let us know if there is anything that we can do for you or your family during this sad time.
  • by Tina Phelps Location: Washington on Jun 22, 2009 at 04:54 PM
    Thank you for all the sweet comments. Doug and I have three children, 2 sons and one daughter; 2 grandsons. We have many wonderful friends surrounding us during this very hard circumstance.
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