MAXTON — A 62-year-old Maxton man drowned on Friday after his boat capsized while he was fishing in a pond, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Ronald Milton Ferebee, 62, of 202 S. Patterson St. in Maxton, was fishing in an eight- to 10-acre body of water at a home on Fairley Road in Maxton when his small boat capsized, Sheriff Kenneth Sealey said.
He was the husband of Brenda Fairley-Ferebee, a board member for the Public Schools of Robeson County. She was not at the board’s monthly meeting on Monday.
Sheriff’s deputies received a call at 3:16 p.m. Friday, and Ferebee’s body was pulled from the water about 5:20 p.m., according to Sealey. Ferebee was pronounced dead at Southeastern Regional Medical Center.
“The witness said he was struggling, trying to get out,” Sealey said. “… There was another man who was supposed to come fish with him, but he hadn’t gotten there.”
Ferebee, who was not wearing a life jacket, was known among family members as an excellent swimmer, Sealey said.
“He was very good,” Sealey said. “The water was about 42 degrees or colder. We don’t know what happened. He cramped, it sounds like.”
According to Sealey, divers in the water were cramping because the water was so cold.
“It sounds like it was an accident. It was just tragic,” he said.
According to Sealey, the landowner had allowed Ferebee to fish in the pond.
An autopsy was scheduled for Monday.