Ricky Hill with one of his grandchildren, courtesy of the Hill family
More than dozen agencies search Jordan Lake for 50-year-old Ricky Hill. (Kyle Gilgen)
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers search Jordan Lake for 50-year-old Ricky Hill. (Kyle Gilgen)
Authorities search Jordan Lake for 50-year-old Ricky Hill.
JORDAN LAKE, N.C. -
The search for Ricky Hill, a grandfather believed to have drowned in Jordan Lake on Sunday, continued Tuesday with about 10 boats in the water looking for the Siler City man.
The rescuers were also using dogs and a Wildlife Commission plane to search for him.
Hill, originally from Virginia, had lived in Siler City for 26 years and is survived by a wife of 29 years, two daughters and six grandchildren.
"Ricky was the serious person in the family. He was
very strong. Great father. Hard worker. Loved his family," said his brother-in-law, Bill Lunsford.
"Dad gave him a really hard time about marrying my sister.
Made him sign a contract. Made us sit there as witnesses and sign a contract.
But he was great man. Good worker. Great father. Loving grandfather. Loved the
grandchildren very much. Loved this lake. Spent a lot of time out here. Just
came out for a day to spend some time with the grandchildren and passed away."
Hill, 50, was being pulled behind a boat in an inner tube with two grandchildren when they all fell into the open water. Authorities said Hill was trying to help the children to safety when he struggled and slipped under water.
North Chatham Deputy Fire Chief Mark Rigsbee said the children were wearing a life vests, but Hill was not.
Lunsford, his brother-in-law, said of Hill, "Everybody loved him. There wasn't a person in the world
that didn't love Ricky.
"For us, my sister and myself, Ricky was the target of
all of our abuse and he took it like a champion and no matter what we said and
how much we picked on him, he knew that we loved him and it was all in fun."