According to officials, the 23-year-old was swimming and went under the water near the Farrington Point Boat Ramp just after 8 p.m. on Saturday.
Police said a group of people were hanging out at one of the coves in northern Chatham County when two of the men went in for a swim. One of the men, Russell, allegedly got tired and started to sink.
The Northern Chatham and Montcure fire departments were called to the scene to help rescue Russell. But dive teams were not able to go out into the water because of poor visibility.
Officials spent most of the night searching for Russell. They later located him on Sunday around 10 a.m.
"I was just in shock," NC State Club Hockey Coach David Kurtz said. "I just thought that there's no way that that could have happened you know. I thought about his family, I thought about his friends, I thought about what I was going to have to tell the team."
Officials said no charges will be filed in the case.