PITTSBORO, N.C. — Rescue workers will resume their search Sunday for a man who fell out of a canoe and may have drowned in Jordan Lake on Saturday.
What began as a day of fishing for two men ended with one of them missing and presumed dead. The man, identified as 24-year-old Dominic Kieltyka, disappeared after falling out of a canoe into the frigid water.
Rescue workers pulled the canoe out of Jordan Lake just before nightfall.
According to North Carolina wildlife officers, Kieltyka and 20-year-old Robert Slattery were in the canoe about 300 yards off shore near Seaforth Beach. The men were fishing when one of them stood up to cast, and the canoe tipped over.
Kieltyka reportedly was not a good swimmer. Slattery was able to swim to shore.
Neither of the men was wearing a life jacket. Alcohol reportedly may have been a factor.
"Safety is the biggest thing we enforce out here," Wildlife officer Reggie Barker said.
Barker said life jackets could have changed Saturday's tragic outcome. He said safety is the main reason the search for the victim was called off Saturday night.
"We don't want to put any of our volunteers at risk of falling in the river or suffering from hypothermia," Barker said. "So, we're going to start back first thing in the morning when we get good visibility and can see what we're doing."
The accident was another reminder why life jackets are so important. By law, anyone 13 and under must wear a life jacket on a boat. Also, everyone on board must be assigned a life jacket, and each life jacket must be accessible.