Community mourns death of boater who was reported missing in Columbus County

Community mourns death of missing boater in Columbus County

COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) - According to the News Reporter, the body of 62-year-old Charles Williamson was found Tuesday morning.

A search for Williamson began Monday evening when he didn’t return after going boating on the Lumber River near Fair Bluff earlier in the day.

Williamson’s son, Brian Williamson, said his dad told him his whole life if something happened to him on the river, not to worry because he died doing what he loved to do.

Brian said his dad loved the outdoors, fishing, hunting and the river. Brian Williamson and his wife run a daycare in the area and friends said Charles loved their kids like they were his own.

Community mourned the death of Charles Williamson who they called Papa.
Community mourned the death of Charles Williamson who they called Papa. (William Jenkins)

Some of those kids were William Jenkins' daughters. He helped look for Williamson.

“Something told me to go though, because I was getting ready to go to work and I took a left instead of a right," Jenkins said. “I knew if I got into a boat, between me and another guy, one of us would find him if they couldn’t, but it wasn’t me that found him. ... God put him there, I guess. He was right near his truck.”

He was like a father to all the children. ... You could say he was the papa of the community. It was like the neighborhood daycare so many younguns went to the house, so I guess they kind of lost their grandpa."

Brian Williamson said his dad was a loyal man who helped anyone who needed it.

“He was always him and he stood up for what he believed in,” Brian said.

According to Lane Garner, superintendent of the Lumber River State Park, multiple agencies were involved in the search.

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