• Body of missing boater pulled from High Rock Lake

    By: Kristin Leigh


    DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. - Search crews pulled the body of a missing boater from High Rock Lake Tuesday.

    Fire departments searched the lake's perimeter by boat in the morning.

    John Howell, a spokesperson for the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, said 51-year-old George Goins voluntarily jumped from a moving boat at about 7 p.m. Sunday. 

    Friends on the boat told authorities Goins was not wearing a life vest. Howell said there was alcohol on the pontoon boat, but he can't confirm whether Goins was under the influence. 

    Channel 9's Kristin Leigh was at High Rock Lake Monday and said crews used dogs on the water to help search for Goins.

    [IMAGES: Search for missing boater on High Rock Lake]

    Officials said dogs can catch a human's scent, even in deep waters.

    A Rowan County spokesperson told Channel 9 that a blood hound alerted rescuers to something in the water, but a body has not yet been recovered.



    Chief Allen Cress said Rowan agencies were asked to to assist Davidson County because the lake divides the two counties.

    Crews were searching until midnight Sunday and rescue operations continued Monday morning.

    A challenge for rescuers are the currents that could move the man's body. Officials closed a nearby dam to help stop that from happening.

    Randy Martin was enjoying the holiday weekend at a camp ground near the search area.

    "We ride out there a little bit. There was a lot of people. A lot of boats. You have to be careful. Some people go over board," said Martin.

    As a boater, he said he always tells his passengers where to find life jackets.

    When asked what's the quickest way to lose an invite, Martin responded, "Break the rules the captain has. If someone jumps off my boat, they won't be back on there."

    The North Carolina Wildlife Commission said alcohol is the leading factor in boating deaths and 83 percent of drowning victims in boating accidents were not wearing life jackets.

    Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.

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