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Lake Norman drowning victim identified

Authorities on Tuesday identified a boater who drowned in Davidson Cove on Lake Norman Saturday afternoon as a 31-year-old N.Y. man who was partying with five friends when he jumped off the boat for a swim.

Friends jumped into the water and brought Christian Geovani Renderos Helena of Uniondale back onto the boat the first time he jumped, Officer Justin Stout of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission said. Helena then jumped off again and drifted too far for his friends to reach him with ropes they threw toward him, including one rope with a full beer bottle attached for weight, Stout said.

Helena, who was in the area to visit family, drowned near the D-11 channel marker in southern Iredell County, Stout said. His body was recovered about 7:30 p.m. Monday, the officer said. Authorities said their search was hampered because they got conflicting information from other people on the boat.

Everyone on the 19-foot Galaxy Runabout was intoxicated, Stout said. Two were charged with operating while impaired. Stout refused to release their names, saying they were still being processed.

Crews, meanwhile, continued to search Tuesday afternoon for a drowning victim who fell off a boat near Cornelius around 10:30 p.m. Sunday. Cornelius fire and rescue officials were told a man fell into the water near the mouth of Davidson Creek.

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