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Crappie Hunter
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From the Dayton Daily News

WEST CARROLLTON — Jeffrey T. Owens of West Carrollton was the father of three young girls and a Sunday school teacher at Miami Shores Baptist Church, according to his wife, Shelly.

He liked to run his boat up and down the Great Miami River, she said.

The body of Owens, 43, was pulled from that river on Friday, July 17, according to the Montgomery County Coroner’s office.

Owens was pulled from the river at 9:40 a.m. Friday, said West Carrollton Fire Chief Jack Keister.

Keister said boats from West Carrollton and Moraine fire departments had been conducting a dragging operation since 7 a.m. Friday after suspending search efforts Thursday night.

“We don’t know what the cause of death might have. We will leave that to the coroner,” Keister said. “We do know he was on the river in his boat alone, travelling at a high rate of speed.”

An autopsy was performed Friday afternoon, but results were not available.

Owens worked as a diesel mechanic for Greenline Products.

“He was a great guy, and he was an awesome mechanic,” said John Randle, owner of Greenline Products. “He was pretty much loved and appreciated by everybody.”

In addition to his wife of 22 years, he leaves three daughters: Rebecca, 13, Melinda, 8, and Haley, 6.

Owens enjoyed fishing “whenever he could” and knew the river well, according to Shelly Owens.

She said Owens did not hit a sandbar, as some media reported.

“When they brought the boat out last night one of the hydraulic lines for the steering was busted,” she said. “So they think maybe that just broke and caused him to lose control.”

After the body was pulled from the river, a family member collapsed on the river bank and was transported from the scene by ambulance.

The fire chief said an existing medical condition might have led the man to pass out.

Rescue units from West Carrollton, Moraine, Five Rivers MetroParks and Ohio Department of Natural Resources were called to 5441 Marina Drive, near the Hammond VFW Post 3438, about 8:15 p.m. Thursday.

As many as four boats were launched in the search, and about 30 people were involved in the operation, said Keister.

Fire crews Thursday evening searched the river, attempting to rescue the man, until darkness made it dangerous for the crews to be out. The search was called off until Friday morning when it became a recovery operation, Keister said.

Owens was not wearing a life vest, according to Keister. “Wearing a flotation device when you are in a boat alone is a critical safety step,” he said.

Keister also said that close to 100 friends and relatives, including some relatives from Tennessee, came to support his household.

Investigation of exactly what happened on the river will be conducted by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

Keister estimated the average depth of the water in the area of the incident at 5 to 8 feet in some places, 12 to 15 feet in other places. The current was slow and at a manageable level, he said.


Staff writers Steve Bennish and Angela Watson Gay contributed to this article.

Keep his family in your prayers.
 

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Wow. I know that area well as do other guys such as Salmonid, Dinkbuster, Fishdealer04 & Fisherman5567. At a time like this I would think the river would be ideal when it comes to safety for boating.

A very grim and sad reminder to have that PFD, especially when your alone.
 

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That's a real shocker for his family.Wish them the best.Let that be a lesson on wearing your life jacket.It's like wearing your seatbelt.It can save your life!Prayers for the family.

Roscoe
 

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Fishin Everyday
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Wow. I know that area well as do other guys such as Salmonid, Dinkbuster, Fishdealer04 & Fisherman5567. At a time like this I would think the river would be ideal when it comes to safety for boating.

A very grim and sad reminder to have that PFD, especially when your alone.
Mellon...i was on the river friday...but just by chance i went to the miamisburg dam. River was down again. Sounds like mechanical failure...thats really too bad. sounds like the guy knew what he was doin. My prayers go out to the family.
 

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Shebasser
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It seems almost every summer we read of this happening in one of the lakes or rivers in the area. Although many of us are experienced fishermen, it only takes one moment of carelessness to end in tragedy. He probably told himself the same thing lots of us have: "I'm a strong swimmer, why would I need a safety vest?" I myself have refused a vest, using those words. I won't do it again. Always follow the rules of safety, no matter what--and it is ten times as important when you are alone. In Genesis we are told that man was given "dominion over the fishes of the waters", but it does NOT say he has dominion over the waters! Some of the "old folks" used to say when I was growing up that the waters were "purely evil" and would seek to take your life, if you were not vigilant. Sometimes that's easy to believe. I pray that God will comfort his family, and rock them gently in His love.
 

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I knew this man personally so I am not going into great detail about it but just so you know a life jacket would not have helped in this situation.......:mad: it still would have turned out the same unfortunately
 

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I knew this man personally so I am not going into great detail about it but just so you know a life jacket would not have helped in this situation.......:mad: it still would have turned out the same unfortunately
Sorry for your loss. If this was something related to a danger in that area of the river or something similar that we all need to watch out for, please let us know. There are quite a bit of OGF guys that fish that area out of a boat.
 

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According to a guy I work with who is close friends with the family, he hit his head on the way out of the boat, ( Closed casket) and I think that is where the comment about a life jacket not helping came from but lets face it, when it took crews 18 hrs to locate the body, a lot of effort was put forth where a lifejacket would have made it easier to locate him and in a bigger river like the Ohio, his body may have never been found for family closure. I fished there today, nothing appeared out of the norm and many thoughts went out to his family and friends while we were there today. Any loss of life is a bad deal.

Bottom line is we need to do the little things all the time in a boat to be safe and this is a reminder that even when you are doing the right things, things can get bad in a real hurry. Be safe guys!!

Salmonid
 

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18 hours considering several people saw him go into the water and did nothing to try to help him and he was found right where he went into the water in less than six feet of water I dont know about anybody else on here but if I saw someone go into the water and not come back up I would jump right in to do whatever I could to help that person. The river was not high nor rushing there was even someone there on a jet ski at the time and nobody made an attempt to go into the water until the rescue teams showed up pathetic is how I look at it yeah if he woud have had a life jacket you would have seen him floating but by the time somebody woud have got to him it would have been too late since it seems people were too afraid to get wet to potentially save a life sorry I am just upset cause he was a good friend of mine...
 

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Man that is bad. Such a shame.

I'll share a story to prove there are some people who will help: Last year at the upper ramp, my trailer got stuck ont he famous drop off. Even the 4x4 would not pull it up as the trailer frame was wedged on the dropoff. (Lots of folks will know what I'm talking about.) As I recall it was October. A guy and a gal in theoir 40's or so saw me, brought their jon boat over and helped. The guy got into the water with his clothes on, (along w/ me) and wedged a large log under my trailer, to "float" the trailer up while his wife got in myu truck and pulled the boat out. This was just to help me with a trailer. I wish they would have been there to help your buddy.

There are good folks out there and I would have been one of them in the water looking for your buddy. I'm real sorry for your loss. It sounds like something could have been done or at least attempted to be done.
 
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