[UPDATE] Diving for James, Fundraiser Equips Lowndes County Sheriff's Office

By: Gabrielle Sarann Email
By: Gabrielle Sarann Email

Valdosta, Georgia - June 17, 2011

The Diving for James dedication raised $148,201.65 for equipment.

A 20-foot boat, 24 dive suits, two metal detectors, weights, a sonar, dive-knives and buoys will be used by Lowndes County deputies and firefighters.

Several area donors also sponsored a diver for $3,000.

During the 17-day search for James Eunice investigators had just one wet suit.

Surrounding agencies were called to assist.

"We didn't have the proper equipment that we needed," says Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine. "Now we do. We have the dry suits. It doesn't matter what kind of weather. You know, the dry suits also protects the diver in the event that there's a car underwater and there's gas and oil."

Officials say the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office will handle below water missions.

Whereas, Lowndes County Fire Rescue will respond to emergencies above water.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valdosta, Georgia - June 16, 2011

A south Georgia community gathers to celebrate the life of a Valdosta teen who would have turned 18 today.

The ceremony began with a prayer service.

Then, a proclamation honored the memory of James Eunice.

State legislators Amy Carter, Tim Golden and Jason Shaw presented it, but with all this happiness, you could still see the sadness in Tammy Eunice's eyes.

James would have been 18 today.

"John and I both say we will have a180 pound hole in our hearts for the rest of our lives," says Tammy.

It's been a long five months for the Eunice family.

On January 15, James drowned while duck hunting on Ocean Pond.

"It has been one of the most painful things that I've ever gone through," says Tammy. "I miss him everyday. My heart will be broken."

But it's through sharing James' story, that Tammy says she's able to heal.

And even through the pain, the Eunice family found strength to give back to the community that gave its all to them.

A fundraiser in James' honor bought 24 dive suits, a boat, weights, a sonar and dive knives and buoys for the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office.

A check for over $100,000 was presented to them which was used to purchase that equipment.

Drew Pipkin, who attended the ceremony with friends and family, was with James when he disappeared.

"We were on the way down to Ocean Pond and we were listening to rap music and a song came on," says Drew. "And James was rapping to every single word of the song. It was just so fun being with him that last day. And the great experiences and great memories I'll have for the rest of my life."

James would have attended the University of Georgia in the fall.

In his honor, James will appear on the football roster as number 23.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Valdosta, Georgia - 6-16-2011

The Valdosta community gathers today to remember James Eunice on what would have been his 18 birthday. A dedication ceremony is held to donate 24 wet suits to the Lowndes County Sheriff's Office. James' parents, Tammy and John Eunice, say today is a celebration of how James lived.

On January 31st, investigators found 17-year-old James Eunice's body in the middle of Ocean Pond. Deputies say James drowned January 15, after he fell overboard while flushing ducks. They say James was wearing waders at the time, which prevented him from swimming ashore.


Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
powered by Disqus
WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 124013104 - wctv.tv/a?a=124013104
Gray Television, Inc.