MOUNTAIN ISLAND LAKE, NC (WBTV) - A 13-year-old boy is dead after falling off his family’s boat Sunday afternoon on Mountain Island Lake.
When the family saw the boy did not resurface, they called for 911 and a search on water, land and sky began to find the boy around the Latta Plantation.
According to a police report, the 13-year-old had a history of heart problems.
First responders from multiple cities came to Mountain Island Lake to assist in the search. Multiple dive teams covered the water a helicopter overhead surveyed the area as crews on the ground searched for the young boy.
Crews searched from about 3:20 p.m. until 5 p.m., when they found the boy’s body.
“It makes you realize you can never look away and take things for granted on a daily basis," said Aaron Rivers, a father who comes to Mountain Island Lake with his children, Allison and Brian.
They planned to go out and fish on the water on Sunday, then learned of the accident.
“We have concluded our search for the missing boater/swimmer, unfortunately we have found that person deceased," said Bill Suthard, PIO with Huntersville Fire Department.
Suthard says he was the first to arrive at the lake just about 3 minutes after the 911 call came in.
“We met a family on a boat who said they had a teenager that fell off the boat and had not resurfaced," said Suthard.
Suthard says the family had just been out on the water, boat anchored down, enjoying the day together.
CMPD said their investigation revealed that four adults and four juveniles were on a boat anchored in the lake, and the incident happened when the four juveniles were playing on and around a large floating pad in the water which was tied off to the boat.
The family had life jackets with them but the boy wasn’t wearing one when he fell overboard.
“Always have something that if you can’t save yourself something will," said Suthard. "I don’t care if you’re an Olympic swimmer, you just don’t know what could happen.”
Suthard says the family was in about 9 feet of water when the pre-teen fell in.
“We want to help, help, help, so we are always in rescue mode,” said Suthard.
A couple hours later, the news of the boy found dead bringing tears to the eyes of lake-goers like Lisa Mahataj.
“It’s really sad because I have 6 children myself and it just really hurts me,” said Mahataj. "I wouldn’t want to lose my child like that.
People like Lisa and many others that WBTV’s Anne Marie Hagerty spoke with at the lake said they might not know the family but they are praying for them tonight. The boy was taken to the medical examiners to find out exactly what happened to him.
CMPD says detectives have not found signs of foul play, however the Medical Examiner’s Office still has to complete their part of the investigation and determine the cause of death.
A death investigation into this incident is active and ongoing.