LAKE WYLIE, SC (WBTV) - A family's wake boat sunk to the bottom of Lake Wylie while the family was out riding it earlier this month.
According to South Carolina's Department of Natural Resources, the incident was the first of two boats to sink on Lake Wylie during the weekend of July 8 and 9.
Officer Dwayne Roger said that on Sunday, July 9, at about 12 p.m., a man had his pontoon boat tied to the dock near Ebenezer Park. He says the man was having some trouble with the plug on the boat and when he went to get a replacement, the boat sunk to the bottom.
"It didn't sink completely, just to the bottom where part of the railing was exposed," Officer Roger said.
With that boat being in just a few feet of water, the problem was an easy fix. However, another boating group had a much scarier problem.
Officer Roger says at about 6:45 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, a group of three adults and a baby less than 1-year-old were on Lake Wylie riding their wake boat.
There were storms rolling into the north end of the lake, so the group stayed to the south end. However, Officer Roger says winds picked up fast all across Lake Wylie that day.
Before the group could do anything, three and four-foot waves crashed into them, filling the boat with water.
"As soon as that first wave came, the second one came over the bow and pushed it down immediately," Officer Roger said.
The baby was in a life jacket floating, while the adults swam for about 15 minutes before a couple in a bass boat spotted them.
"When you got a storm like that no one is really out here, and from the house you can't see bodies floating in the water," Officer Roger said.
The couple got the victims to shore safely. No one was injured, but their boat was at the bottom of the lake at a depth of 35 to 40 feet. They eventually got their boat out, but there is no word on whether it could be salvaged.
The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is using these two unfortunate situations to remind boaters that the weather can alter your plans with no warning. Even for these experienced boaters, it took them by surprise.
They urge you to always check the forecast, notify someone of where you will be, and be sure all the proper safety jackets are at the ready.