Police chief issues warning after teen drowns in Mountain Island Lake

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MOUNT HOLLY, N.C. - Mount Holly's police chief said a popular spot for swimmers on Mountain Island Lake is too dangerous and wants people to stay away from the area after a Charlotte teenager drowned on Monday.

[PHOTOS: Crews responding to possible drowning in lake in Mt. Holly]

A Pao, 15, was swimming with family members in a secluded area on the lake near a boat ramp when he went under and never resurfaced.

Divers found him hours later in about 15 feet of water. 


(A Pao)

"This is probably one of the worst places on this river. If you want to go swimming you need to go somewhere else," park goer Robert Clawson said.

The secluded area makes it almost impossible for an emergency crew to get there quickly, and Mount Holly Police chief Don Roper said that isn't stopping people from going to the spot.

There is a rope swing in the area that has enticed people to the secluded area of the lake.

Police are still trying to determine exactly what led to the tragedy.

"We don't have information that the rope swing was part of this incident," Roper said.

Roper has worried that the "No Swimming" signs are often ignored by people. The signs were posted after a teenager drowned in the area three years ago. In 2015, another person was seriously injured after swinging off the rope.

Roper said it's apparent that people don't understand the dangers.

"The current, the temperature of the water, the weather, the vegetation, animals, tree limbs," Roper said.

Swimming in the area is prohibited, but there is no fine or penalty.

Police use an all-terrain vehicle to drive around the area and warn swimmers to get out of the water. 

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