• 81°

High Rock Lake drowning victim identified as George Wayne Pickler

By Shavonne Walker

shavonne.walker@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — Rowan County authorities have identified 49-year-old George Wayne Pickler of Rockwell as the person who drowned on High Rock Lake this weekend.

Officials said Monday Pickler was making repairs to his boat when he fell into the water. A witness said Pickler went into the water about 4:45 p.m. Sunday and did not immediately resurface.

About the same time, Dana Pickler called 911 to report a possible drowning at Fisherman’s Cove. She said her husband, George Pickler, was working on their boat and went under.

Pickler left the shore in the boat to pick up someone at the boat access at Tamarac Marina. While pulling away, the boat began to have mechanical problems. A witness heard someone yelling for help.

The same witness, whose family was on the shore grilling food, tried to reach Pickler in his own boat, but he saw Pickler go underwater about 30 feet away. The witness threw an anchor and life vest in the water to mark where Pickler went under. The man’s wife called 911 and swam to where her husband’s boat had stopped. The couple again tried to find Pickler but were unsuccessful.

The spot the witness marked was where rescue crews began their search. Rescuers dragged the water and divers searched the water in an alternating pattern, each time going back over the spot where he was last seen. The rescuers expanded their search throughout the night.

Pickler’s body was recovered by divers about midnight in about 9 feet of water, said Rowan County Sheriff’s Capt. John Sifford.

The West Liberty Fire Department, Rowan County Rescue Squad, and Miller’s Ferry Fire Department all helped in the search to find Pickler.

The initial information received by 911 was that Pickler did not know how to swim, but friends say Pickler could swim. Officials with the N.C. Wildlife Service and Rowan County Sheriff’s Office notified Dana Pickler and the couple’s son about the recovery.

Contact reporter Shavonne Walker at 704-797-4253.

Comments

Elections

Former North Carolina Gov. McCrory enters US Senate race

Crime

Salisbury woman arrested in Myrtle Beach for abducting child

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

High School

High school tennis: East beats Carson, still hopes to share NPC title

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant

Kannapolis

Kyle Seager drives in winning run in first game as Mariners split doubleheader with Orioles

Local

City exhausts this year’s funds for Innes Street Improvements, Municipal Services District grant programs

Landis

Landis adopts amendments to Zoning Ordinance related to signs, Planning Board terms

Nation/World

Cop, police chief resign 2 days after Black motorist’s death

Nation/World

Expert says cop was justified in pinning down George Floyd

Crime

Blotter: April 13

Coronavirus

County switches vaccines for Livingstone clinic after federal, state guidance

Coronavirus

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

Education

Superintendent talks first 100 days, dives into district data

Business

‘It was an answer to a call:’ TenderHearted Home Care celebrates 10 years of providing care at home

News

Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine

News

Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law

Local

Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award

Landis

Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates

College

College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1

Nation/World

Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed

Nation/World

Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun

Crime

Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses

Education

RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale