OPD chief: Man did not drown

Published 12:05 am Thursday, March 1, 2012

The man pulled from Frank Jackson Lake Tuesday night did not drown, authorities said Wednesday afternoon.

“It appears he had a medical condition, and he had a heart attack,” Opp Police Chief Nickey Carnley said. “He did not drown.”

OPD and the Opp Fire Department were dispatched to the state park shortly after 7 p.m. on Tuesday night after family members of 71-year-old Aaron Frank Whatley of Andalusia notified 911 that he did not return home after a fishing trip.

Officers confirmed Whatley’s vehicle and trailer were still parked in the boat ramp area.

At 7:39 p.m., search party located the missing fisherman’s empty boat about 200 yards east of U.S. Hwy. 331.

One of the boats located Whatley’s body at about 8:11 p.m.