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Underwater drone used to recover angler's body from Center Hill Lake

Richard Simms, NewsChannel9 - TWRA investigators used an underwater drone to recover the body of a missing fisherman on Center Hill Lake Thursday.

Scott Northrup, 66, was a retired chemistry professor and the faculty advisor to Tennessee Tech's bass fishing team.

Northrup was reported missing around 5:30 pm Wednesday when he had not returned home from a fishing trip when expected. His truck and boat trailer were found at the Hurricane Creek boat ramp and his boat was found on the lake around 7:30 p.m.

TWRA investigators said the boat was afloat with the trolling motor down. He said it appeared that Northrup had fallen out while fishing, although at this time it is unclear if some other health-related issue may have involved.

RELATED: Search underway on Center Hill Lake for missing fisherman

The water temperature was 47 degrees. Most people's body functions will become debilitated within 15 minutes in water that cold. They are likely to be rendered unconscious within 30 minutes to an hour.

TWRA crews and the Dekalb County Sheriff's office searched late into Wednesday night and then resumed the search resumed early Thursday.

His body was found in 33 feet of water using TWRA's remote operated vehicle in the Florida Branch section of the lake. Northrup's body was about 150 yards away from where his boat was found. He was not wearing a life preserver.

TWRA has used the VideoRay Pro 4 Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) on several searches for drowning or boat accident victims.

The incident remains under investigation.


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