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Man identified whose body was found by Coast Guard after boat sinks

(Nate Belt/NewsChannel 12)

ORIENTAL, Pamlico County - After hours of searching for a man whose boat sank on the Neuse River near the town of Oriental early on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard pulled a body from the river shortly after 11 a.m.

The man was identified as Joseph Baker, 63. Baker's body was discovered by a Good Samaritan who called the Coast Guard to report they spotted what they believed was a body.

According to the Coast Guard, a North Carolina Wildlife crew recovered the missing man's son, William Baker, 36, from the water around 4:45 a.m. Friday. The son said the boat he was in with his father sank around 1 a.m. near the South River entrance.

The son was taken to Carteret Health Care in Morehead City for treatment. Both he and his father were wearing life jackets at the time the boat sank, the son said.

An already airborne MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew was diverted to the search area and the Coast Guard launched a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium from Station Hobucken.

The Coast Guard was on scene searching with North Carolina Wildlife, and various local police and marine patrol boats.

"Our sincerest condolences go out to the friends and family during this very difficult time," said Lt. Tiffany Zehnle, Coast Guard Sector North Carolina command duty officer for the case. "We're grateful to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources commission crew who arrived on scene first and rescued this man's son, and for our state and local partner agencies who worked so hard with us on this search."

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