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Kayaking incident claims life of local man

Staff Report

The rapids of the Tallapoosa River have claimed another life below Thurlow Dam in Tallassee. Charles Edward Stewart, 31, was found on Wednesday, July 12, less than 24 hours after being reported as missing due to a kayaking accident.

Reports note that Stewart was with friends on Tuesday afternoon and became separated from his party. Tallasseee 911 received a call at approximately 5:20 p.m. reporting him as missing.

Stewart was recovered without a personal flotation device by divers the next day at 10:10 a.m. His body was submerged in about ten feet of water.

Stewart was living in Tuskegee but had worked in Tallassee and attended Reeltown High School.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency's Marine Patrol Division and Aviation Unit, Tallassee Fire Department, Tallassee Police Department, Friendship Fire Department, Elmore County EMA, Haynes Ambulance, Haynes Lifeflight, Elmore County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Division Delta Dive Team, Montgomery Fire Department Dive Team, Search and Rescue of Elmore County, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources worked the scene. In addition, civilian bystanders assisted with their boats in the resuce mission which was suspended on Tuesday evening due to darkness.

Stewart's mother, Eleanor Jo Stewart, thanked all who assisted. "Thank you to all the rescue personnel for your time and effort for finding my son. All the civilians who put their personal boats in the river, we the family, thank you all."

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