According to the sheriff, McCrae and his cousin were fishing in a canoe when McCrae stood up, the canoe tipped over and both men fell into the water.
Darryl McCrae told authorities he was able to dog paddle to shore. McCrae's father, Lonnie, said his son was a good swimmer and they had fished at the pond for years but always from the banks.
"We fished here years together, and he never been in that boat with me," Lonnie McCrae said. "I don't get into boats. I don't know why he got in. He stopped by the house and told me he was going fishing and asked if I wanted to go. I said no. He said I'll stop by and show you what fish we bring back."
Divers say the water where Ronnie went under is about 15 to 20 feet deep.
McCrae is remembered as a well-known barber in Raeford for years.