DURHAM (AP) - Add another victim to North Carolina's prolonged
Donald Meeks set out Monday morning with bow and arrow in hand to
hunt for carp on Falls Lake.
He almost didn't return.
The retired landscaper from Durham went on foot out on the lake
because the drought had left the water level so low.
High school friend David Minshew came along for the ride and
waited for Meeks at the car, expecting him to return in a few hours.
Those few hours passed. The afternoon faded. Darkness began to
fall and still no sign of the 68-year-old Meeks.
A motorist stopped around 7 p.m. and asked if they were stranded.
Minshew used the driver's cell phone to report his friend was
missing and to call Meek's wife.
Durham County sheriff's deputies responded, using boats to search
the grassy area to no avail.
It was now midnight. Maj. Mike Andrews asked for a Highway Patrol
Using thermal-imaging equipment, the helicopter crew found Meeks
at 2:11 a.m. Tuesday, about 300 yards north of Interstate 85.
He was surrounded by tall grass and "buried up to his chest in
some mud, quicksand-type matter," Andrews said.
Deputies were unable to pull Meeks out using a rope. They created
a walkway with plywood and used some "elbow grease" and finally
freed Meeks about two hours later, Andrews said.
Meeks says he was simply walking when he fell in a hole, and that
he began hallucinating while he was cold and wet and stuck in the
"I thought about being in my warm bed and not out here
shivering," he said. "I asked Jesus what in the world I had done to