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ERWIN — A swim with friends turned into tragedy Friday evening when a man’s lifeless body was pulled from the Cape Fear River at Cape Fear River Park.
Officials say 32-year-old Reginald Donnell Ragston of Smithfield went under the water and didn’t resurface near the N.C. 217 bridge that spans the river around 5:30 p.m. Ragston’s friends reported him missing.
According to officials at the scene, Ragston was reportedly walking on the rocks and remnants of a former bridge that once spanned the river when he fell in.
Fire and rescue crews from Erwin, Summerville, Bunnlevel, Dunn, Buies Creek and Lillington responded to the park with boats and diving gear.
Members of the Harnett County Sheriff’s Office, Erwin Police Department and Harnett County EMS also rushed to the park to provide assistance.
Ragston’s body was pulled from the river a few minutes after 8 p.m., following an extensive search.