Northampton County Emergency Services are continuing to search for a Virginia man who is missing and presumed dead, after a boating accident on Lake Gaston last weekend.
On Sunday morning, a fisherman came upon an empty boat that was floating towards the Lake Gaston dam. He found a man in the water, who was unconscious. The fisherman was able to pull the man from the water and performed CPR. That victim did regain consciousness long enough to share that a second person had also been on the boat with him. He was then transferred to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville, where he remains in critical condition.
Rescuers found no sign of the missing man, but did recover an uninflated life jacket in the water near the boat.
Multiple state and municipal agencies have been brought in to search for the missing victim and sonar boats have been brought in to search the area where the boat was found. The water in that area is approximately 40 feet deep. Officials say that search efforts have been hampered by heavy winds on the lake.
Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the boating accident, however, there has been some conjecture that the boat may have hit a wake and the two men were knocked out of it. The victims were participating in a fishing derby on the lake that morning.
According to the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, there are around 130 boating accidents each year in the state. Approximately 25 people are killed each year, and dozens more suffer serious injuries. The number one cause for fatal boating accidents is the victim falling or jumping into the water.
If you have lost a family member in a boating accident, contact a skilled North Carolina wrongful death attorney to find out what legal options you may have for the loss of your loved one. Our firm also offers a free boating accident guide to victims who have sustained injuries in boating accidents. The guide covers topics such as whether or not a boating accident victim should pursue an injury claim, as well as boating accident laws, and insurance issues.