CHARLOTTE, N.C. (FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - First responders were called to several injuries on Lake Norman this weekend, ahead of the busy holiday week. North Carolina wildlife says everyone heads out to the lake for fun but danger can be right around the corner and you need to be prepared.
“It’s just a stark reminder to the boating public to be safe to be on the lookout of where you’re going as well as where other boaters are going. Don’t assume that they’re going to move for you or that nothing can happen to you when you’re out on the water,” said Sergeant William Laton with N.C. Wildlife. He patrolled Lake Wylie Saturday and responded to several emergency calls Sunday.
Saturday, a woman learning to wake board on Lake Norman fell and broke her femur. Officers confirmed she was pulled from the water and taken to the hospital where she will have to undergo surgery. Sunday, a woman learning to water ski, told first responders that she fell backwards, heard a pop and felt excruciating pain. She was also pulled from the water and taken to the hospital with a strained back. An N.C. Wildlife officer referred to the injuries as a “freak occurrence” and was surprised they happened within 24 hours of each other.
“Keep a sober operator in the vessel and not only have your safety equipment on your vessel such as life jackets, fire extinguishers but know where it is and how to get to it in a timely fashion,” said Sgt. Laton.
Officers said a major problem they deal with is people getting too close to other boaters or jet skis and being careless or reckless, posing a real danger to others. Another problem, people drinking and operating a vessel. Officers issued several safety and drinking violations this weekend. They said they will be cracking down through the holiday, particularly with underage drinking.
“We have a DD, life-jackets and sunscreen,” said Callie Jackson who had just boarded a boat with six friends. She said they planned to be on the lake for several hours and go tubing.
John Loeb was on the lake for the first time this season, boarding a jet ski with his son. He moved his family to the area after an enjoyable vacation on the lake, last year. “You’ve got to be very careful out here especially on the weekends. We came down last year and rented a house on the lake and it was great Monday through about Friday afternoon then it gets extremely busy,” he said.
Officers said they will be increasing patrols through 4th of July.