Tugboat driver spots body floating in James River

Posted at 2:44 PM, Dec 31, 2013

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WTVR) -- The Henrico Fire Search and Rescue Dive Team discovered a body in the James River near Osborne Landing Tuesday afternoon.

Sources tell CBS 6 News that a tugboat driver spotted a man's body in the river just after 1 p.m.

“Gravel tugboats come through, waste disposal tugboats come through,” Claude Welch who lives along the river said.

Oregon Landing

Osborne Landing (PHOTO: Melissa Hipolit)

Crews discovered a body in the river around 2:25 p.m.

Officials said detectives are in the preliminary stages of their investigation.

"At this time, the identity of the deceased is unknown," Henrico Lt. Linda Toney wrote in a news release. "Neither the condition of the deceased nor any other specifics about the body are available for release."

Henry Upshure, who lives nearby, said he's concerned but not surprised. He's also said he spotted crews in the same location Monday night, but didn't think much of it until they returned Tuesday.  He said crews didn't go into the water Monday night.

"I guess we've had about five in the past 20 years, it's unfortunate that someone will go into the river," Upshure said. "I don't know whether they want to go in for bad reasons or if they just happen to fall out of the boat, because they fish year round down here."

For Bill Holmes the story hits close to home.  He frequently goes duck hunting and fishing on the river and says it can be very unpredictable.

“It changes from day to day with all the rain we've had the past couple weeks... you have a lot of logs that wash into the river,” Holmes said.

He said this story can serve as a reminder that the river has a mind of its own.

“You get people that aren't familiar with the water and they get in trouble, overreact, it gets the best of them,” Holmes said.

Stay with CBS 6 News and for updates on this story.