The body of a 54-year-old California man who drowned after falling into Gila Gravity Canal has been found, according to the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office.

Public Information officer Lt. Samuel Pavlak said that deputies from the YCSO Search and Rescue team who were searching in the area of Gila Gravity Canal and the Adair Park Road located the body of Woodley Mason at approximately 9:49 a.m. on Friday.

Pavlak said that Search and Rescue members, along with Sheriff’s Office Dive Team members, were able to recover Mason’s body from the canal in the area of Avenue 11E.

The Yuma County Medical Examiner responded to the scene.

On Monday, Oct. 28, at approximately 6:51 p.m., the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office received a report of an adult male, later identified as Mason, who had fallen into the Gila Gravity Canal near the Hidden Shores Village RV Park while he was fishing with his nephew, who is in a wheelchair

According to the man’s sister, Diane Mason, her brother traveled to Yuma frequently to fish and was in his favorite spot when he lost his life.

YCSO personnel, along with Yuma Proving Ground Police and Fire Departments, responded to the area but were unable to locate his body.

Mason said she was told by the sheriff’s office that the undercurrent was 15 miles an hour at that time and it could have taken Mason anywhere along the 45-mile stretch of the river.

James Gilbert can be reached at or 539-6854.

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