Eight Drowning Victims This Summer On Lakes

CHARLOTTE, NC– “It’s been a bad year for us, for everybody involved,” said Officer Kenneth Obsorne with North Carolina Wildlife Commission.

Officer Kenneth Osborne with North Carolina Wildlife patrols Lake Norman. He says they’ve been hit hard this summer with three drowning deaths, but not as bad as Lake Wylie. Thursday afternoon York County officials identified the 5th Lake Wylie drowning victim as 52 year old Kenneth Varnadore from Catawba, South Carolina.

” There’s a lot of danger there the fact that you can swim is not a reason at all I don’t think to not wear your life jacket,” said Osborne.

Authorities charged the driver of the boat, 50 year old Cynthia Averitt from Rock Hill with Boating While Under the Influence.

” There are some things we look for, obviously alcohol consumption, people will surprise you sometimes they don’t hide it as much as you may think they would,” said Osborne.

There are about 16 crews out patrolling the lake, especially on the weekends.

“We’re looking for obvious violations of numbering, children under age of 13 without life jackets on things like that,” said Osborne.

Osborne says the biggest misconception people have is if they can swim they don’t need a life jacket. He says almost all of the drowning victims could swim.

“It’s a totally different thing than jumping in a swimming pool, you’re going in you’re not expecting it, you’re probably fully clothed at least with a bathing suit or something ,shoes but the big thing is probably the surprise of hitting the water,” said Osborne.