Man drowns while trying to help friend fishing on Johnston County lake
Posted May 26
Smithfield, N.C. — One man was killed Friday following a boating accident on Holt Lake near Four Oaks on Friday afternoon.
Four friends on two separate boats were fishing in the lake located at 3735 U.S. Highway 301 South, when one of the boats got stuck on the concrete spillway of a dam.
"They were a little too close to the dam and it's a tragic accident that just went wrong today," said Joseph Spears with the NC Wildlife Commission.
The occupants of the second boat came to assist, but one man was overcome by the current during the attempt to free the stuck boat.
The man, who authorities said is about 70 years old, fell into the water and went under. Friends tried to help him when he surfaced, but he was pulled under again and became unconscious.
"When they tried to walk across the dam to get to the shore, he went under water near the floodgate, they were able to get him back up at that point, but he had taken on some water," Spears said.
Friends tried to revive the man, but were unsuccessful. Spears said the man was not underwater very long.
"It doesn't take a lot of water in your lungs to where you can't survive and he was an older individual as well, that probably factored into it," Spears said.
The man's name is being withheld until family and friends are notified of his death.
Investigators said alcohol was not a factor and charges are not anticipated.