Following the many incidents that we have had this year on the lakes (both Mountain Island Lake and Lake Norman) quite a few folks are surprised and asked what the main causes were…the answer is not an easy one. There are quite a few reasons for these incidents and the overall cause is that the water is simply unforgiving. A simple error while on the lake can lead to a catastrophic event and one of the simplest ways to prevent a catastrophic event from happening is always wearing a personal flotation device when on the water.
We wear them EVERYTIME we’re on the water as we never know when we might need it so we are always prepared. Same goes for our partners at Cornelius-Lemley Fire Rescue, Cornelius Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, and the East Lincoln Fire Department and it is the best habit you can have on the water.
We have responded to incidents this year as a result of ineffective swimming, falling overboard due to reckless operation of a watercraft, or simply not trained on how to operate a watercraft (rentals).
Remember that Lake Norman and Mountain Island Lake are not truly lakes but rivers that have expanded into recreational areas to facilitate cooling and safety measures for the Duke power projects in the area. The water in these “lakes” is constantly moving and the currents are always changing. We have been in communication with Duke Power to become more orientated with how the damns operate and are opened and closed. Water levels in the main channel and especially in the coves can chance dramatically in a short period of time so we all need to be aware of the environment we are floating in.
The one thing that stands out in all of the lake incidents we have responded to is that wearing a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) is the simplest and easiest way to prevent injuries or deaths on the water. Please be careful out on the water and if you have any questions stop by our Station 2 and we can answer them for you.