By Steve Rogers
A family fishing outing turned tragic Sunday afternoon when a husband drowned.
Lowndes County Coroner Greg Merchant says 44-year-old Marc Tomlinson’s body was recovered at about 7 p.m. Sunday from the Tombigbee River by the Columbus Fire and Rescue Dive team.
The accident happened at about 4 p.m.
He and his wife, Jennifer, had gone fishing in a small Jon boat Sunday afternoon when the boat capsized in rough water on the edge of the main channel of the Tenn-Tom Waterway.
Not far from their home on Nashville Ferry Road, the two were in the area of what is known as Pirates Cove, August Landing and the Nashville Ferry boat launch in southern Lowndes County when the accident happened.
They were trying to cross from what is known as Arkansas Slough on the east side of the river to the west side to a popular fishing area known as the old river run, on which Camp Pratt and Camp Rising Sun are located. The boat was set up for the shallow waters that make the area popular with fishermen.
Winds were heavy at the time, making the water choppy, and a larger boat may have passed, increasing the waves.
“They were right at home. They lived near there and that was what they did. He was such and avid outdoorsman and hunter, he knew that area,” a family friend said of Tomlinson, who’d worked 25 years at Burchfield Body Shop.
Merchant says the two were thrown from the boat, which also flipped with its motor still running.
The two were fully clothed and wearing boots.
Jennifer Tomlinson told rescuers she and her husband spoke a couple of times as they both tried to make their way to shore. He at one point spoke of trying to get the boat’s motor turned off.
She was able to get her pants and boots off and make it the 80 to 100 yards to shore. When she looked back, her husband was gone. When he was found, he did not have his boots on but Merchant speculated he may have exerted so much energy trying to get them off that he couldn’t continue in the chilly water.
Merchant said the body was recovered near a red channel buoy about 20 yards from where the boat initially capsized.
Rescue divers used sonar equipment, among other tools, to locate the body for divers.
Visitation was 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at Lowndes Funeral Home. The funeral followed at 1 p.m. with Bro. Kenny Gardner officiating. Burial was in Pleasant Hill Cemetery.