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Body of missing tow boat operator found

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The body of a boater who went missing Thursday morning has been recovered, according to Beaufort County Emergency Services.

Chris Newkirk, operations chief of fire and emergency management, said Saturday the body of James W. Cleary, Jr., 45, of Belhaven was located Friday evening around 4 p.m. just north of Wades Point in the Pungo River.

Watchstanders at Station Hobucken received a call at approximately 1:20 a.m. Thursday reporting a 21-foot TowBoatUS vessel had capsized while towing a 47-foot recreational boat near the Pungo River entrance.

Cleary, a TowBoatUS captain, was aboard the capsized vessel and was reported missing.

According to Paul Funeral Home, Funeral services for Cleary will be at 2:00 pm on Jan. 23 at West Belhaven Church of Christ. Burial will follow in Belhaven Community Cemetery.

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