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Jonesville man drowns in Yadkin River while fishing

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BOONVILLE, N.C. — Officials said a man fishing on the Yadkin River drowned after the canoe he and a fellow fisherman were riding in overturned Friday afternoon in Yadkin County.

The Winston-Salem Journal reported that the man who died was identified as Jerry Lee Chandler, 66, of Jonesville. His body was reportedly recovered from the river a couple hundred yards downstream of where the accident occurred.

Yadkin County Sheriff William R. Oliver said Chandler and a steady fishing companion, James Pruitt, also of Jonesville, had put into the water in their canoe Friday morning. They stopped and fished along the way, Oliver said.

Authorities said Chandler and James Pruitt, also of Jonesville, were in the water and Chandler reached up to grab a limb around 1:45 p.m., causing the canoe to tip over.

Officials said Pruitt made his way to shore and pushed the canoe back toward Chandler but wasn’t sure what happened after that.

Authorities said he lost sight of his friend as he tried to go downstream along the shore, but later saw both the overturned canoe and Chandler in the water.

Chandler was not wearing a life jacket and did not know how to swim although life jackets were in the canoe, officials said.

The accident occurred at about the place where the Mitchell River, flowing south through Surry County, empties into the Yadkin River.

Credit: The Winston-Salem Journal.

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