Rescuers recover body

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 2, 2007

Search for drowned man ended Sunday



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An U.S. Army Corps of Engineers patrol located the body of a Dallas County teen Sunday morning floating in the Alabama River.

Nicholas Tyler Cline, 19, was positively identified by his mother Karen Cline, after members of the Selma-Dallas County Rescue Squad returned with the body to the City of Selma Marina. Dallas County Coroner W. Alan Dailey said she did not have to, but she insisted on seeing him for herself.

Cline’s body was transported by Selma Funeral Home, then it will be transported to the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Montgomery where an autopsy will be performed to determine the exact cause of death, Dailey said. Cline had been in the water since Wednesday morning, when several friends reported he developed cramps and went under.

John Bennett and John Williams said they were asked to ride the river on Sunday morning, as searchers were skeptical any efforts could be made due to bad weather. At approximately 11:25 a.m. they discovered the body and called the rescue squad. Rescue Squad Lt. Jasper Bowie said it had been their largest search effort in three years.

Williams said he has been a park ranger with the Corps of Engineers for nearly 30 years. Also a veteran park ranger, Bennett’s face showed they never really get used to tragedy.

Williams said the cool water played a role in the delayed recovery.

Karen Cline was consoled by family and friends, and was joined by more than 30 people gathered waiting at the marina. Rescue workers including divers had come from Autauga, Elmore, and Sumter counties to assist in one of the largest searches in Dallas County in years. Donations for the family are being collected around town.

An emergency call came in to the 911 call center Wednesday, March 28 at about 10:30 a.m. reporting four young people were swimming across the river and one didn’t make it to the other side, authorities said.

Cline was reportedly swimming with his best friend, Cameron Flowers, 18, and several others at Little Miami, a popular recreation spot about three miles down river from the marina. Flowers told authorities they were swimming across the river when Cline began cramping. He said he tried unsuccessfully to save his friend several times but couldn’t.