Crews searching for missing swimmer in Bertie County

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BERTIE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) — Agencies are still searching for a swimmer who went missing Friday in Bertie County.

A 20-year-old Native American man went missing on the Roanoke River just outside of Lewiston Woodville around 5 p.m., the Bertie County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities resumed their efforts Saturday at 8 a.m., but moved the search from a rescue into a recovery, Sheriff John Holley said.

The swimmer had been with friends when he jumped off the dock at the Lewiston Woodville boat access point, Holley said.

“He got a little too close out there to the current area and he went under twice,” Holley said. “One of the young gentlemen went out and tried to save him but they were not able to do so.”

Bertie County Emergency Management along with Hertford County Officials and other agencies assisted in Saturday’s search.

The recent heavy rains caused high waters along the river making their search efforts more difficult, Holley said.

The Roanoke’s banks and swamps have swelled making it tougher to drive along Weeping Mary Road and access the boat dock.

“Here at the Roanoke River, the current is so strong, even officers going out in the water have to be very careful,” Holley said.

The Bertie County Sheriff’s Office said it usually sees about one missing swimmer case a year.

The Roanoke River is one of the most dangerous rivers in the county because of the current, Holley said.

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