Update: Missing Woman's Body Found

The body of a woman, who went swimming in the Currituck Sound Saturday, has been found.

Currituck County authorities say a commercial fisherman found the body floating in the sound, northeast of the Poplar Branch boat landing.

The Coast Guard told WITN News that Bland was from Washington, but the sheriff's office says the woman lived in Greenville.

A medical examiner saw nothing suspicious and released the body to a funeral home.

The 26-year-old woman disappeared in the Little Narrows near Poplar Branch in Currituck Sound.

The Coast Guard ended its search for Bland Sunday night, but local emergency crews continued their recovery efforts Monday.

The woman was swimming from an 18-foot boat with another woman Saturday night near Poplar Branch.

Petty Officer Jason Frivance of the Coast Guard said the women didn't anchor the boat, which drifted away in a northeast wind. The woman who survived said she swam for an hour to catch the boat and didn't see her friend when she looked back.


Previous Story:

The Coast Guard is searching for a swimmer in the Currituck Sound.

The 26 year-old swimmer disappeared in the Little Narrows near Poplar Branch in Currituck Sound.

The Coast Guard got the call around 8:30pm Saturday that Leah Bland was missing after going for a swim. She was on a 18 foot boat with one other person on board. That person notified emergency crews.

"We're still searching for the missing swimmer, and we will continue searching for her," said Chief Petty Officer Stephen Mansfield, officer in charge of Station Elizabeth City and senior Coast Guardsman at the ICP.

Here is the press release from the Coast Guard:

Coast Guard, state, local agencies search for missing swimmer in Currituck Sound

CURRITUCK, N.C. - The Coast Guard, Coast Guard Auxiliary, and other state and local agencies are searching for a missing 26-year-old swimmer in Little Narrows near Poplar Branch in Currituck Sound.

Currituck 911 notified Coast Guard watchstanders at Sector North Carolina at 8:30 p.m. that Leah Bland was reported missing after swimming from an 18-foot boat with one other person on board.

Boat crews from Station Elizabeth City and helicopter crews from Air Station Elizabeth City searched through the night and continue to search along with boat crews from the Currituck County Sheriff's Department, Currituck Fire Department, North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and the Norfolk, Va., police dive team.

The Coast Guard and Currituck County Sheriff's Department set up an incident command post at the Poplar Branch Wildlife Ramp to coordinate the search.

"We're still searching for the missing swimmer, and we will continue searching for her," said Chief Petty Officer Stephen Mansfield, officer in charge of Station Elizabeth City and senior Coast Guardsman at the ICP.


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  • by Gail Friedman-Barrett Location: Safety Harbor, Floroda on Jul 19, 2009 at 09:56 PM
    Dear Lathy and Baily. What a shock this is. I can't beging to imagine what is the wort ain possible for a parent . I pray the Lord will commfort you in your time of eep grief.You and the family are in my prayers. Much love, Gail
  • by Debi Location: Cary on Jul 1, 2009 at 09:17 AM
    To Dr. Bland, Kathy, and the rest of the Bland family, our thoughts and prayers are with you. Leah was a beautiful young woman who will truly be missed by all who knew her. When I last saw her, I remember noticing that she never lost that bubbly, carefree, wonderful personality she had as a child. I know that with your strong faith in God you will be able to go forward while still looking back and cherishing all the wonderful memories. Heaven now has another angel to watch over you. God bless you and your family. We love you all.
  • by Stacy Location: Durham on Jul 1, 2009 at 07:49 AM
    I am still in shock. I will miss Leah for the rest of my life, but I will always have such great memoties of her and of our friendship. To the Bland family, my heart aches for you, but I know you will pull through and cherish the life that Leah had with you and everyone she met. You are a strong family and I know you will forever celebrate her. Everyone will grow from this tragedy and hopefully be able to think of Leah often and laugh. How could you not? She was quite a character at all timesand those of us who grew up with her were blessed to know her the way that we did and to be able to remember her and have so many memories to revisit of her. She will be greatly missed. My love to the Bland family always.
  • by Murray Location: Aydlett and Williamston on Jun 30, 2009 at 03:56 PM
    Everyone in the Elliott family wants to thank all of the agencies, and local volunteers who assisted in the tireless search for Leah. Such an unfortunate incident can hopefully be a learning tool for others who navigate our waters. I am also appreciative for the thoughts, prayers, and visits by neighbors and friends. Without this we would never be able to endure the pain we are experiencing at this time. Thank you to all. Murray Elliott
  • by Jessie Location: Wilmington on Jun 29, 2009 at 07:39 PM
    Leah - you will be severly missed!!! You were a unique individual and we all loved you dearly. We will continue to tell various funny stories about you for years to come - Razzle Dazzle Tina...It Began in Africe - the list goes on and on. Rest in Peace.
  • by Nemo on Jun 29, 2009 at 01:58 PM
    who jumps out of a boat and does not have it anchored? 2 people on board and 2 people jumped out. WOW!!
  • by friend of yours Location: washington on Jun 29, 2009 at 12:27 PM
    Rest in Peace Leah...I am glad I was able to know you. I am praying for your family and Rae.
  • by Dolores Location: Castle Hayne, NC on Jun 29, 2009 at 11:40 AM
    Dr. Bland, Kathy and family. I'm very sadden by this news. Praying God will give you the grace to move forward. Leah was a Beautiful young Lady and will be missed by many. I love and miss all of you. Dr. Bland, you're still the Bestest employer I ever worked with and you taught me many great lessons that help me each day. Please know how much you're all loved. You're in my thoughts, heart & prayers. God Bless, Dolores~
  • by Tulips Location: Chocowinity on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    Did I hear this correctly....both women jumped into the water & boat not anchored down???? Good grief!this is just terrible!
  • by Anonymous on Jun 29, 2009 at 10:02 AM
    Terrible thing to happen. My condolenses go to the family!
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