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Sutherlin man drowns in river on fishing trip

A 32-year-old Sutherlin man drowned late Friday night at Melrose in the Staunton River in Campbell County.

Vernon Ferguson of Ferguson Farm Drive drowned after fishing with friends from the riverbank, according to Campbell County Chief Deputy L. T. Guthrie.

Campbell County authorities responded to a report of a drowning at 11:20 p.m.

Guthrie said Ferguson had been fishing with a group when he got into the water and went under.

Guthrie said he was unsure why Ferguson went into the water, but his death was ruled an accident.

“He may have gotten into the river to go swimming,” Guthrie said.

Brookneal Volunteer Fire Department recovered Ferguson’s body early Saturday morning near where he was last seen in the water, Guthrie said.