The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 23, 2013

Bradley man drowns during storm at lake

By Jessica Farrish
Register-Herald Reporter

— A Bradley man drowned Saturday at Lake Sherwood near Neola in Greenbrier County during a storm, the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reported.

Luke E. Hess, 40, of Bradley, was fishing on the lake with another angler when a storm hit the boat around 8:30 p.m.

Lt. Col. Jerry Jenkins reported that Hess tried to use the boat’s electric trolling motor to get himself and the passenger to the shore, but the small motor wasn’t working well in the storm.

Planning to use the oars, the fishermen tried to put the oars in the socket blocks, according to the preliminary DNR report.

The oar on the right side of the boat fell into the water, and when Hess reached for it, the boat capsized, sending Hess and his passenger into the lake, Jenkins stated.

When the passenger reached the shore, he couldn’t locate Hess and went for help, added Jenkins.

Hess’ body was found at the edge of the lake.

The drowning is still under investigation by Sgt. Bob Johnson of the Beckley DNR law enforcement detachment, and Hess’ remains were sent to the State Medical Examiner to determine cause of death.