News release from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
The search is continuing for an Albany, Ga. man who was swept through a lock at the Jim Woodruff Dam on Sunday and disappeared in the rain-soaked and swollen Apalachicola River.
Investigators with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) say John Mark Slappey, 34, was duck hunting in Lake Seminole from a float tube when he drifted toward the dam.
His half-brother Andrew Dismuke, 25, also of Albany, dropped off Slappey in the float tube about 800 yards north of the dam just before 12:40 p.m. EST. Dismuke headed up the lake in his boat to scare up ducks and run them by Slappey.
"Workers at the dam saw Slappey headed toward the dam's open locks and knew he was in trouble," said FWC Lt. Scott Pearce. "They threw him a life ring and tried to pull him to safety but he apparently lost his grasp."
A number of agencies, search-and-rescue personnel and volunteers were at the scene on Monday. They included the FWC, Chattahoochee Police Department, Jackson County Sheriff's Office, Wewahitchka Search and Rescue and Bay County Search and Rescue.