Drowning victim found Tuesday

Published 10:44 pm Tuesday, September 8, 2009

A young Demopolis man was found in the Tombigbee River on Tuesday by rescue divers from the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department diving team.

Adrain Crawford, 21, was reported missing by his family Monday night after he told them he was going to go fishing on the banks near the city landing.

“Mr. Crawford drowned in the river while fishing Monday afternoon,” said Demopolis police chief Tommie Reese. “We pulled him from the river (Tuesday) morning at 10:10.”

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Reese said an autopsy is being conducted to determine the cause of death.

“The family called and was concerned because he hadn’t made it back home after a four- or five-hour fishing trip,” Reese said. “They called the police department at about 10 Monday night to come look for him. His car was still at the city landing.

“The Marine Police came in and the Conservation Office came in, and we searched the river, but we couldn’t find anything. Then, we called in the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office diving team. We stayed there until about 3:00 (Tuesday) morning. The water was too dangerous to get in at night, not knowing what was down there. We called it off at about 4:00 in the morning, and the diving team got here at about 9:00 (Tuesday).”

Reese said the body was found within 40 feet south of the shrimp boat dock and about 15 feet from the bank, past a dropoff, where the water is deep.

Reese emphasized that people be careful when walking along the banks on the limestone near the Civic Center.

“That limestone gets very slippery,” he said. “Once it gets wet, it’s hard to walk on, and we’ve had a lot of drownings there. There have been several in my career that I know of that have happened there. We want people to be aware that that area is not safe.”

Reese thanked the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Department diving team, the Marine Police, the Demopolis Fire and Rescue Department, the Conservation Office and the U.S. Corps of Engineers for responding to the emergency and providing assistance with the Demopolis Police Department.