Body of missing 22-year-old swimmer recovered from Lake Norman

MOORESVILLE, N.C. — The body of a 22-year-old man who drowned in Lake Norman Saturday evening has been found, North Carolina wildlife officers said.

Emergency crews recovered the man's body just after 11:30 a.m. Sunday.

First responders were called around 4 p.m. Saturday to McKendree Road near the Hager Creek lake access area in Mooresville.

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Officers with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said the man was on a boat with 10 other people when he jumped off.

The man, whose name has not been released, was wearing a life jacket, but it came off when he jumped in the water and that's when he drowned, according to officials.

“I saw this and said, 'Oh no, not another victim.' I pray it turns out OK and if not, my heart goes out to the family," neighbor Claudette Hladik said.

Channel 9 was with first responders at the scene as they searched for the man Saturday evening.

Wildlife officers said the area where the man drowned is around 14 feet deep.

Lt. Steve Davis, with the Cornelius Lake Patrol, said uneducated boaters are creating dangerous situations.

"They don't have a clue about any of the laws or anything," he said. "We've had people flag us down, wanted directions on how to get back to the marina where they rented the boat from."

Channel 9 learned anyone born on or after Jan. 1, 1988, must complete a state boating education course and earn a certification before operating most vessels on the water. People born before then or people who rent boats aren't required to take the six-hour safety course.

Rental boat companies often offer their own safety courses, which are usually much shorter.

Regardless of the law, Davis is urging everyone who operates a boat or rides as a passenger on a boat to take the free course.

Two boaters drowned in the same area last summer.

In July 2018, Fredrick Norris and his nephew Earnest Norris Jr. went fishing one night and did not return.

Officials said the boat had dry rot and filled with water. They said it was the first time the men took the boat out on the lake.

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