Boating season is here; how to stay safe in the water this summer

- Lake season is just a splash away and the Cornelius Fire Department has a message for people heading out to Lake Norman.

"Always wear a P.F.D.," Cornelius Fire Department's E.J. McCormick said.

A personal floating device (P.F.D.), or a life jacket, can easily save your life. The Cornelius Fire department says, often times, people drown when they're in a situation that doesn't appear to be dangerous.

One of those cases might be jumping into the lake to cool off without a vest on.

"A boat comes by with a big wake, pushes your boat away or the wind picks up and the next thing you know, you're looking at your boat 100 yards away," McCormick said.

The Fire Department said, often times, people underestimate how tiring swimming through the lake can be. In other cases, people might catch a cramp while swimming and not be able to stay above water.

Lake Norman has sections that go more than 100 feet deep. The Fire Department said it's seen everything from airplanes to bodies on the bottom of the lake and there's also objects that are still near the top that you could get tangled up on.

The message isn't intended to scare people away from the lake, but to raise awareness.

"There's all kinds of different hazards, there can be a tree that's on its way down that hasn't sank yet," McCormick added.

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