Crews back on Lake Norman in search for missing boater - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

Crews back on Lake Norman in search for missing boater

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LAKE NORMAN, NC (WBTV) -

Dive crews were back on Lake Norman Monday searching for a boater who went missing on Sunday. Crews say it is the second search for a missing person on the lake from the holiday weekend.

On Monday morning, around 11 a.m., officials moved their search for the missing boater to the Beatties Ford Landing in Denver. 

Fire crews from Charlotte, Cornelius and Huntersville were called out late Sunday night after reports came in that a person fell off a boat in deep water on the main channel of Lake Norman near exit 28.

Cornelius Fire Chief Jim Barbee says someone fell off a boat around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday evening.

The boat was moving at the time and Barbee says when they fell off, the other people on the boat told the boat driver and the boat returned to the area they believed the person fell.

Barbee says it happened around marker D-4, which is about a 1/2 mile from land. He says the water in the area is between 80 and 90 feet deep.

The boat ramps behind the Rusty Rudder restaurant were used as the main staging area, as rescue workers took to the water to begin looking for the possible victim.

Charlotte firefighters said they used sonar to better aid the search.

The search was temporarily called off around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning, but crews were back in the water several hours later when there was daylight.

Barbee says there are islands in the lake near the area and crews are searching the islands as well to see if someone was able to come ashore.

The incident was the second major search on Lake Norman over the weekend.

Emergency personnel and dive teams also searched the Iredell County section of Lake Norman on Saturday evening to separate report of a missing boater.

Officials got a 911 call around 5:30 p.m. Saturday night saying two men on a boat came to shore saying a third man had jumped in the water near the D-11 channel marker and didn't resurface.

After searching for most of the evening on Saturday crews said the search is now being called a recovery effort.

Divers were back in the water on Sunday until WBTV learned at one point at least eight boats from different agencies were in the water helping search.

On Saturday, neighbor Skip Grimes said a sheriff's car arrived at the lake and then the area became bombarded with fire trucks and rescue crews.

He says that's when he knew something serious was going on.
 
"It looks like it happened about 200 yards off our docks so they just came in to the closest place they could find and started yelling someone drown, someone drown," Grimes said.
 
Grimes says the docks are private so it's unclear where the men may have put their boat in the water.

Locals that live on the lake say they hadn't seen the men before and it appears the boat may have been a rental.
 
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