Xao Le, 44, and his brother Cong Le, 28, both of Jacksonville, died when the canoe they were fishing in overturned, said Coroner Pat Brown.
The two brothers and a cousin were fishing at night with nets in the Coosa River near Robins Mill Road in Ohatchee, Brown said.
Brown said something occurred shortly after 1 a.m. and the canoe overturned, knocking the two brothers into the cold water. The cousin, who had stayed behind on the riverbank, left to call for help, but when he returned both brothers had disappeared, Brown said.
Xao’s body was found shortly after rescue efforts began at around 2 a.m., said Etowah County Rescue Squad captain Mike Bettis. He had become caught in the nets that were attached to the canoe and drowned. His brother Cong’s body was found underwater not far from where the canoe overturned at around 7 a.m. Sunday, Bettis said.
Both brothers were not wearing life vests, and the water temperature was around 47 degrees Sunday morning, Brown said.
“Hypothermia can set in fast at that temperature,” Brown said.
The Etowah County Rescue Squad, the Ohatchee Fire Department and the Southside Fire Department responded in the incident.
Staff writer Eddie Burkhalter: 256-235-3563. On Twitter @Burkhalter_Star.
Editor's note: This story has been modified to correct information about the drowned men's cousin, who officials say was on shore when their canoe capsized.