3 bodies retrieved from Tulsa's Arkansas River near low-water dam after apparent noodling accident

TULSA - The bodies of three men were pulled Thursday from the Arkansas River Thursday after the friends were swallowed by the river's strong current earlier in the morning.

Search and rescue teams found the body 100 yards south of a low-water dam at 31st and Riverside where Eric Harris, Connor Norvell and Troy George were noodling around 5 a.m.

The body of the 23-year-old George, of Louisiana, was found just after 7 a.m. south of the PSO building between 31st and 41st on the east side of the river.

Norvell's body was found just after 3:30 p.m. nearby. The Colorado native was 20 years old.

Tulsa firefighters recovered the third body, 27-year-old Eric Harris, of Watts, Okla.,  just before 6 p.m.

RELATED: Cousin of Eric Harris remembers family member (http://bit.ly/18QtXGH)

All three were students at Tulsa Welding School.

Police say one of the men was noodling, a type of fishing with one's hand, and when he began struggling the two other men went in after him. All three were sucked under by the current.

Multiple water boats and a police helicopter combed the scene all day Thursday. Oklahoma Highway Patrol and Tulsa Parks workers assisted Tulsa police and firefighters. 

A friend of the victims spoke to 2NEWS earlier in the day. He was with the three when they went missing and said he regrets making the decision to go to the river.

RELATED VIDEO: Noodling explained (http://bit.ly/noodleinfo)

Bryan Tillman said he and his friends were noodling and when one of them ran into trouble the others jumped in to help, but he said he knew better than to get in.

"You can't get people in there or more people will get hurt," he said. "I was just throwing them a stringer."

Tillman said it happened so quickly.

"I'm sad, they were good friends," he said.

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