Jordan Gibbs, of Apex, went missing in the water just before 6 p.m. near a no-wake buoy. His body was recovered at about 7:30 p.m. near the Ebenezer Day Use picnic area, Peek said.
Boaters said rangers searched in and around the lake, and inside their boats, looking for Gibbs.
“He (park ranger) was searching and hoping that this individual was playing a prank on his friends at that time,” boater Edison Glover said.
Gibbs was a member of Calvary Chapel Cary and was with friends from the church at the lake Monday, a friend said.
It's unclear why Gibbs was not able to swim to safety, but a friend said he may have had swimmer's fatigue and was trying to get to the buoy.
Calvary Chapel Cary Senior Pastor Rodney Finch said he was told that Gibbs and another boy were racing to the buoy, and that the other boy turned around and Gibbs was gone. Finch also said Gibbs was a good swimmer and planned to join the Army.
Dozens of people who knew the teen gathered at the church late Monday in remembrance.
“Jordan was just a colorful young man, well-liked, well-loved by everybody. He always made people laugh and he loved the Lord. He was on fire for Jesus,” said Pastor Johnny Rivera with Calvary Chapel Cary.
Finch said a public visitation for Gibbs is planned for 9 a.m. Saturday at Calvary Chapel Cary. A memorial service will follow at the church.