Former Fire Chief Found Dead In Submerged Vehicle At Jarrett Bay

A former fire chief's body was found inside a submerged vehicle that was pulled from Jarretts Bay today.

Carteret County Sheriff's Captain Jason Wank says workers at Jarrett Bay Boatworks spotted the sports utility vehicle upside down in the water around 10:30 a.m. It was seen near a ramp they use to launch large boats.

Michael Tatum is the former fire chief and active member of the Davis Fire Department. The 52-year-old man's body was pulled out of the vehicle this morning after it was recovered from the water.

A news release says Tatum was currently captain of the Cape Lookout Ferry Service and arrived there late Wednesday night to pick up personnel who were bringing the ferry to Jarrett Bay.

Deputies say the ferry was being transported for its yearly inspection before it was going to be put in operation for the season next week.

Wank says they do not suspect foul play and believe the death was an accident. An autopsy will be performed on Tatum's body.


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Carteret County deputies are at the scene of a vehicle in the water.

Captain Jason Wank says they have deputies at Jarrett Bay Marina where the vehicle is in the water.

Wank says they do not yet know whether anyone is still inside the vehicle or not.

The marina is off Highway 101, across from Parker Boats.

Stay with WITN News and witn.com for more on this developing story.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by megan b Location: davis nc on Mar 18, 2011 at 10:22 PM
    i love u dad. n i miss u so much. u were the best father n grandfather. ur n our hearts always.
  • by angel t Location: macon ga on Mar 18, 2011 at 06:08 PM
    Uncle mike u will forever be loved and miss rip. Love u always!!
  • by Jennifer Mimbs Location: Macon, GA on Mar 17, 2011 at 09:42 PM
    Thanks for all the prayers and support. My Uncle Mike was a wonderful brother, Fabulous Father, and The GREATEST BEST FRIEND one could imagine. Uncle Mike We Love You Dearly and I miss You so much already. May God Be With Us As We Travel The Days Ahead.
  • by Stuart Adamson on Mar 17, 2011 at 07:47 PM
    Where did big country fall?
    • reply
      by sunny on Mar 17, 2011 at 07:58 PM in reply to Stuart Adamson
      i think big country meant feel.
  • by big country Location: columbia on Mar 17, 2011 at 07:18 PM
    im a firefighter and i fell for the family and his cofirefighters
  • by Formerly O.L.I. Location: ENC on Mar 17, 2011 at 03:35 PM
    Awww, this is so sad. God Bless his soul.
  • by CiCi on Mar 17, 2011 at 01:46 PM
    My condolences to the family........so sorry for your loss.
  • by Anonymous on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:50 AM
    Ready to know who it was and what happened?!
  • by donna Location: enc on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:11 AM
    this is very tragic but I love to find out if the body of the person found in a burned car in Martin Co the first of the year was ever identified
    • reply
      by mcn on Mar 18, 2011 at 04:05 AM in reply to donna
      Yes Donna, this is very tragic.. sad to say tho, its hush hush in Martin County bout the burned out car and the remains of the body found inside.
  • by Anon Location: Washington on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:03 AM
    I really hope no one was in the car or if they were they were able get out in time.
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