Body of father recovered from Conasauga Creek
by By GREG KAYLOR Banner Staff Writer
Feb 09, 2013 | 2079 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The body of Nick Alley, who drowned with two of his children Jan. 16 has been recovered, according to officials.

Searchers involved in the search of Conasauga Creek located the body Friday at 12:35 p.m, according to officials in charge of the investigation.

Alley was canoeing on the rain-swollen creek Jan. 16 with his five children, who were all reportedly under 10 years of age, according to Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency officer Ben Davis.

The canoe overturned and three of the children made it to safety. Two children — Helana, 7, and Lazarus, 6, — remained in the water with their father.

Officials recovered Lazarus Alley’s body a few days later. Helana Alley’s body was located Jan. 29.

West Polk County Fire and Rescue Chief Steve Lofty praised the efforts of search crews, sometimes up to 120 people, at a time who gave their time to the Mennonite community to help find their loved ones.

“Tri-State Mutual-Aid was a great resource to have in place regarding one of our longest searches ever,” Lofty said.

A unified command structure was utilized to maintain operations from day-to-day.

“Everyone had a part from beginning to end. Daily briefings and debriefings were essential in the seamless search effort. Everyone was engaged and had an important job,” Lofty said.

Officials began to scale back the effort about two weeks in, but maintained incident command and daily operations with additional volunteers who would aid on the weekends.

Search crews along the banks and up to five area rescue squads at a time were in the waters of the creek searching through massive brush piles to locate the bodies.

“We want to thank everyone involved and who came out to help the Mennonite community,” said Davis.

Davis said no further investigation was warranted in the incident.