On Thursday, July 30, 2020, while working Lake Patrol on Lake Norman, 1st Sgt. Richard Calhoun and Deputy John Issacks of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office observed a woman in distress floating in the water and hanging on to the side of an unmanned jet ski.
The 39-year-old Pennsylvania woman told officers as they approached that she and her husband had been stranded in the water for about 20 minutes and both were extremely fatigued. Deputies observed the woman’s husband floating in the water about 30 yards away. He appeared to be in severe stress and fighting to stay afloat.
The officers went to assist the man and were able to secure him to keep him from ingesting water. Due to the man’s large stature and extreme fatigue they were unable to get him in their patrol boat. Catawba County Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Sawyer, in a patrol boat with a water level swim platform, was nearby and responded to assist. The three officers were able to get the man onto the boat and transported him to shore.
Meanwhile, citizens on a pontoon boat were able to pull the woman out of the water and get her to safety. Both were transported to Lake Norman Regional Hospital by EMS for further treatment. The woman was treated and released and her husband is recovering and expected to be okay.