Body of missing boater recovered in Goochland County

Body of missing boater recovered

GOOCHLAND COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - The search has ended for a Chesterfield man who went missing Saturday evening.

The Goochland County Sheriff’s office say they’ve recovered the body of 42-year-old Matthew Todd Jackson after he jumped into the water to retrieve an object.

Jackson’s disappearance prompted a joint effort by water rescue teams and divers from Goochland, Powhatan, Henrico, Chesterfield, Virginia State Police and the Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

The search was suspended due to darkness on Saturday night, and kicked off again at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

“All we had out here was two vessels, two boats and four officers to come out and assist with the search,” said Officer Matt Cavazos of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries.

Boat after boat from each locality arrived back at Watkins Landing as the search wrapped up around 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

Officer Cavazos said the water level wasn’t dangerously high, but it could still prove risky for some.

“It is moving a little bit faster, so the people that are floating are going to get where they’re going a little bit quicker. But if you’re not a strong swimmer, it could be a little bit too fast for you.”

Richmond man Gregory MacDougal says he often spends time out on the James, and was looking forward to another day on the water.

“When we came in this morning, we thought it was a training exercise," he said.

What should have been two hours kayaking with his family was cut short into 20 minutes.

“It’s beautiful, but as you can see, it’s a little muddier than normal because of all the rain and stuff that we have. You can see it’s a little higher than normal. Also, it’s a little faster than normal,” he said.

The Goochland County Sheriff’s Office says that Jackson’s body has been taken to the Medical Examiner’s office, and the investigation is ongoing.

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