Save Money in this Sunday's paper

comments

Body of 1 missing Lake Norman boater recovered; another still missing

  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/02/18/57/7LVXj.Em.138.jpeg|320
    - Ames Alexander
    Charlotte Fire Department boat at Beatty's Ford Park on Lake Norman, not far from the rescue workers who were searching for a man who went overboard Sunday night.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/02/18/57/18JQEK.Em.138.jpeg|421
    - Ames Alexander
    Charlotte firefighters, on the shore of Lake Norman, await word from colleagues who were on nearby boats searching for a man who went overboard Sunday night.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2013/09/02/18/57/kZMMo.Em.138.jpeg|237
    - Ames Alexander
    Cornelius Fire Chief Jim Barbee, on the shore of Lake Norman, not far from the boats searching for a man who went overboard Sunday night.

DENVER Divers and rescue teams found the body of a missing boater on Lake Norman Monday night, but still had not found another man who disappeared on a different part of the lake over the Labor Day weekend.

Crews searched Sunday for a 32-year-old man last seen when he jumped off a boat Saturday afternoon in the northern part of the lake.

Around 7:40 p.m. Monday, rescue crews found his body near the D-11 channel marker. Authorities said the search was hampered because they got conflicting information from other people on the boat.

Divers searched until the sun went down Sunday, then suspended their efforts.

Neighbor Skip Grimes told WCNC-TV, the Observer’s news partner, that a boat “came racing in rather dramatically to our piers and the guys were very upset.” Grimes said the men told him someone “had jumped off the boat and had not resurfaced.”

After spending 14 hours looking for the man, the search was called off late Sunday.

Search to resume Tuesday

Another boater was reported missing near Cornelius around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Witnesses said he apparently fell off a boat, went under the water and wasn’t seen again. Divers continued their search for him Monday.

“Those guys are out there trying to come up with a legitimate target,” Cornelius Fire Chief Jim Barbee said late Monday afternoon at Beatty’s Ford Park on the Lincoln County side of the lake. “It could be a long-term process, unfortunately.”

A team searched until about 7 p.m. Monday, and Barbee said the search would resume about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

The equipment used to find missing people is very sensitive to movement, Barbee said. “All the boat traffic didn’t help matters today,” he said Monday, when many people were out on the lake celebrating Labor Day. “It was pretty rough.”

Cornelius fire and rescue officials were called about 10:30 p.m. Sunday and told a man had fallen into the water near the mouth of Davidson Creek.

Crews spent several hours searching late Sunday and early Monday then resumed the search after daybreak Monday.

The base of operations was moved from the Cornelius side of the lake to Lincoln County to avoid the congestion from the large number of holiday boaters launching from Mecklenburg piers.

Brian Stewart, who said he is a good friend of the missing boater, stood at Beatty’s Ford Park on Monday afternoon looking out over the lake waters as boats from the Charlotte, Cornelius and Denver fire departments dragged sonar units in the water in search of the man.

Stewart said he was holding out hope for his friend.

“I‘m hoping his little country butt is up under one of those docks, alive,” he said.

Stewart said he got a call about 3 a.m. Monday from the boat’s owner, telling him of the incident. He said the missing man is a strong swimmer who has worked on the boat he was riding Sunday night.

“As for him going overboard, I don’t know why,” Stewart said. “He fell off one of the safest boats in the world.”

Stewart said his 33-year-old friend lives in Charlotte and works as an engineer for a company that designs roads.

Barbee said the man’s disappearance “appeared to be an accident. He apparently fell off.”

After being notified that a man had gone overboard, the boat’s operator backed up, tried to find him and marked the spot with a buoy, Barbee said. The spot, he said, is in the old riverbed, where the lake is about 80 to 100 feet deep.

Barbee said the search would continue until dark Monday then possibly resume Tuesday if needed.

Staff writers Ames Alexander, Steve Lyttle, Lindsay Ruebens, Elisabeth Arriero and WCNC-TV contributed

Steve Lyttle: 704-358-6107 Twitter: @slyttle
Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more



Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

  Read more


Quick Job Search
Salary Databases
Your 2 Cents
Share your opinion with our Partners
Learn More