Body of retired KC firefighter recovered from Lake Jacomo - KCTV5 News

Body of retired KC firefighter recovered from Lake Jacomo

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Teams searching Lake Jacomo for a fisherman recovered his body about 1 p.m. Wednesday, authorities said.

Gladin Harrison apparently drowned after his boat capsized.

The 85-year-old was a retired firefighter who served 32 years with the Kansas City Fire Department.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office said two men were fishing about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday when their movement caused their small rowboat to capsize. One of the men held onto the boat and was rescued. But Harrison attempted to swim to shore and disappeared before reaching the banks.

Neither man was wearing a life preserver.

The man who held onto the boat told officials that he saw his friend go under and didn't see him come back up.

"They shifted their positions in the boat, and it turned over. One gentlemen swam to the boat and held on," said Eddie Saffell with Central Jackson County Fire.

At least six agencies assisted in the search. A dive team was called in, and they also used sonar to try and pinpoint the location of the missing man.

Jackson County Sheriff Mike Sharp said searchers recovered a fishing pole and clothing in a specific area.

"At that point, we determined we were real close," he said. "So we continued our search and found the body."

The waters were up to 36 feet deep in that area. It was near where the man went overboard.

The second man was in his 60s and could not swim. A passer-by heard his cries for help. The sheriff's deputies and park rangers then came to his rescue.

"He was shaken up. Didn't seem to have taken much water in. He was probably worn out and still in shock," Saffell said.

He was later released from the hospital.

Crews spent much of Tuesday evening dragging the lake and searching for the motor that fell off the boat, hoping that would provide some clues as to where that man is.

The search resumed Wednesday, and the sad discovery was made some hours later.

Harrison's son, Chris Harrison, said he last spoke to his father on Monday. He is devastated by the tragedy.

"I'm just shocked. I don't believe this has happened," he said in an interview with the Kansas City Star, KCTV5's reporting partner.

Harrison served in the U.S. Army during World War II and moved to Kansas City from Little Rock, AR, in the 1960s. He enjoyed fishing and hunting, his son said.

Nena Franklin lived next door to Harrison for years. She told KCTV5 that Harrison was a wonderful man whom she enjoyed visiting with.

"He's real sweet," she said. "He's a real sweet old man."

She offered his prayers and condolences to his family.

Four years ago this week, it was a happier day when Christmas in October came to Harrison's home and repaired his roof. He was given a U.S. flag that now flies half staff in the yard of the World War II veteran.

Sharp urged all boaters to have a life preserver on board for everyone in the watercraft.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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