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Kanawha River searched in possible drowning

By Staff reports
KENNY KEMP | Gazette
A diver jumps off the front of a Charleston Fire Department boat Tuesday to look for a man who reportedly disappeared while trying to swim across the Kanawha River. The man tried to swim from Dunbar to South Charleston near the Dunbar Bridge, a witness said.

DUNBAR, W.Va. — Authorities have not found the body of a man who they believe might have drowned in the Kanawha River Tuesday morning.

The man apparently tried to swim across the river near the Dunbar Bridge around 11 a.m., starting from the Dunbar side, but disappeared when he got about halfway across the river, according to Kanawha County rescue personnel.

The Charleston Police Department’s dive team was among the agencies that responded to the scene. Divers began searching for the man around noon.

Jeff Burdette, assistant fire chief for the South Charleston Fire Department, said divers went back down to look for the man again about 2:30 p.m., but no sign had been found.

The search for the man was called off at 4:15 p.m., according to Kanawha Metro 911 dispatchers.

Authorities are still not sure of the man's identity.

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