• 82°

Boat sinks; six pulled from water by fellow boaters

SALISBURY – Six people might have drowned last night on High Rock Lake if fellow boaters had not been alert to their plight.
According to Sgt. Anthony Sharum of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, Jeffery Carol Lewis, 45, of Pine Ridge Road in Cooleemee, was operating a 15-foot motor boat that was “extremely overloaded for the size of the boat,” with five passengers in addition to Lewis.
At about 11 p.m., as the 1971 Glastron boat approached the Bringle Ferry Road bridge near Tamarac Marina, the wake from another boat hit the bow, or front of the boat, submerging the passengers in front.
As everyone in the boat moved to the rear, there was a loud popping or cracking noise, leading Sharum to believe the rear or transom of the boat split, and the boat sank.
Sharum said two of the six “could sort of swim.” Two could not swim at all and none were wearing life preservers; none were able to reach any preservers on the boat because “everything happened so fast.”
“As the boat’s passengers were splashing about and calling for help, fortunately, other boats in the area picked them up” even before law enforcement arrived.
Sharum gave credit to boat er Michael Hodgson, who is a Salisbury firefighter, along with Travis Ketchie, of Liberty Volunteer Fire Department; Austin File, Brittany Hill and Summer Curlee, who were the first ones there as it happened. “Hodgson and Ketchie and File dove into the water and began rescue,” Sharum said.
Hill and Curlee threw life preservers out to the victims.
On a second boat nearby were Sheila and Mike Holshouser and their family, who also helped in pulling victims from the water.
Liberty Volunteer Fire Department, Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, EMS and N.C. Wildlife all responded, Sharum said, to find that all victims were on shore. “One woman was sent to the hospital for other health issues.” All the other passengers declined treatment by EMS.
Following a review of what happened, Lewis was charged with negligent boat operation, a misdemeanor, and operation of motorboat with child under 13 not wearing a personal flotation device.
“The boat sank to the bottom and remains there as far as we know,” Sharum said. It’s in about 25 feet of water. The boat’s owner would be responsible for recovering it, but Sharum estimates it is a total loss.
“Without a doubt,” Sharum said, “I feel confident we would have had a fatality” without the help from Hodgson, Ketchie, File and the others.”

Comments

Comments closed.

BREAKING NEWS

Two in custody after drive-by shooting, vehicle pursuit

Local

Gusty winds bring down power lines, trees as Zeta remnants roll through Rowan County

Business

With Eastern Fence’s arrival, industrial park on Statesville Boulevard poised for second life

Business

Prehistoric Prey: Dinosaur Hunt to be held at the Rowan County Fairgrounds this weekend

Elections

Rep. Warren leads challenger Heggins in fundraising, cash on hand

News

Panthers, Falcons look to put mental mistakes behind them tonight

Education

Optimism grows for new charter school in Faith

Columnists

My Turn, Carol Spalding: Rowan-Cabarrus poised to train, educate workforce

Education

Education briefs: Wallace and Graham announces scholarships for high school seniors

Crime

blotter: Oct. 29

News Main

London column: World Series MVP Corey Seager honed his skills in Kannapolis

Elections

Election 2020: Howard, Townsend differ on handling of racial issues, redistricting

Local

RSS moves to remote learning day because of hurricane remnants

Education

Shoutouts

Education

At Horizons Unlimited, Mary Meyer explores passion for animals

Elections

Supreme Court leaves NC absentee ballot deadline at Nov. 12

Crime

Police warning about catalytic converter thefts

Local

Rowan Public Library to resume normal hours

Education

RCCC selects new student ambassadors

Local

Rowan Sheriff provides Halloween safety tips, precautions

Coronavirus

Two of four new COVID-19 deaths reported Wednesday from one nursing home

Crime

Spencer man charged with death by distribution after overdose death

Local

Salisbury Police Department receives grant to hire homeless advocate

Education

Livingstone paints mural to remind students to vote