Triple Lake Norman drownings may have started as rescue attempt

Two adults and a child are dead after drowning in Lake Norman State Park, WBTV reported
Two adults and a child are dead after drowning in Lake Norman State Park, WBTV reported WBTV

Authorities believe that a triple drowning at Lake Norman State Park on Sunday may have happened when one of the victims stepped into deep water by accident, setting off a tragic chain of events.

Greg Schneider, park superintendent, said the group was along the edge of Alder trail. Though it is not illegal to swim there, it is not a designated swimming area.

“It is my feeling that one of the family members got into water deeper than they had meant to enter,” he said. “And other family members responded in an attempt to assist, but were unable to rescue themselves.”

A 50-year-old woman’s body was recovered from Lake Norman Sunday evening. A dive team later found an 11-year-old child and a man.

In addition to the three who drowned, two adults and a 5-year-old were taken to a nearby hospital. Though the 5-year-old was initially in critical condition, all three are currently stable, according to WBTV.

Schneider said the lifeguards had gotten off duty around 5:30 p.m., and the 911 call came shortly before 6 p.m. He said the lifeguards responded, along with several other emergency crews, including Iredell County Sheriff's Department and Emergency Medical Services, Sherrills Ford Fire Department and Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s dive team.

Some of those involved are related, Schneider said. He believes their primary language was Spanish, which created a language barrier. The names of the victims and their relationship to each other have not been released.

Cole: 704-358-5357; @kianamcole