UPDATE: The Polk County Sheriff's Office has released the name of the 25-year-old who drowned in the Ocoee River. 

Rondazz J. Mee of Cleveland was walking along the river and fell into the water. His friends tried to rescue him but were not able to get him out of the water.

According to the Deputy EMA Director Wes Davis in Polk County, this is the ninth rescue that they've been called too. Three of those have resulted in death, and they're still searching for the fisherman who went missing back in February. 

For Mee, Davis said they had about 75 people from three different states searching for him in the almost 24-hour search. 

"It's from North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and it's in the tri-state mutual aid group and we send a call to one person and they send us the resources we need," said Davis. 

He said they use local resources as well. 

"It's pretty common, local raft guides are also swift water certified, rescue certified. So it's good, they know this river a lot better than we do, so it's good to call them in, it's just more eyes and more boots on the ground," said Davis.

Rescuers found his body around 4:00 p.m., roughly 250 yards from where he fell in.

Several responders from around the region helped in the search. 

Davis said there are a few things they would like you to do if you're in Polk County. Keep an eye on the river levels using TVA's Lake Info App, that can be found in the app store, bring a personal flotation device, and if you're near an area with rocks, bring a helmet.


The search began on Monday evening after a man fell into the water and never resurfaced, according to the Polk County Sheriff's Office.

Dive teams were called to the scene to search the area of the river where the man fell in.

Crews were forced to call off the search around 2:00 a.m. on Tuesday to allow TVA to lower water levels.

Polk County Sheriff Steve Ross says the search will continue until 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

 

PREVIOUS STORY: The Polk County Sheriff's Office says a search is underway for a missing person on the Ocoee River Monday night.

Sheriff Steve Ross confirms the search and says the person disappeared on Monday.

A command center has been set up at the Ocoee Whitewater Center off Highway 64.

A friend of the missing person tells Channel 3 that they were wrapping up a day of swimming in the area. The friend says the 25-year-old man was washing off his feet to put his shoes on when he fell in the water and never resurfaced.

Dive teams are searching the area where the victim fell in the water and plan to move downstream to continue searching.