‘It’s a sad situation’: Rescue crews continue search for missing Lake Wylie boater

Fire officials received a call for a rowboat accident around 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday.
A boat accident was reported on Tuesday evening involving a rowboat.
Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 6:28 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A boater is still missing after an accident Tuesday night on Lake Wylie in Charlotte.

Steele Creek Fire Department said a call for a rowboat accident came in just after 7:30 p.m.

First responders have not released the name of the person, but neighbors said the person is a member of the Catawba Yacht Club.

“It’s a sad situation,” Tom Martin, a member of Catawba Yacht Club, said. “I’ve never heard of an accident with one boat, you row backwards but you use a mirror that lets you see where you’re going, of course you can see where you’ve been.”

Authorities have not released many details about the incident, but called off the search late Tuesday night and resumed Wednesday morning.

“The rowing program has been on this lake for 30 years,” Martin said. “I think there may have been one other incident where a boat may have clipped a rowing shell after all these years, so this is highly unusual.”

Martin said the rowing shells can range upwards of 27 feet long, and the boater is usually wearing highly-reflective or bright clothing.

He also said the rule on the lake is that rowboats have the right of way to motorboats.

“It was very low on the water, but it was good visibility, the weather was good, and it was still another half an hour before sunset, so the sun was up,” Martin said of the Tuesday evening situation.

Neighbors are asking people to report any incidents seen on the lake yesterday and check surveillance cameras for any clues that can help investigators, along with prayers and support for the family.

“We’re there to support them, the family at the Catawba Yacht Club and I know they have their own family,” Martin said. “We are grieved by what happened and we’ll keep the family in our prayers.”

First responders are asking people use caution on the lake between Youngblood Road West and Here at Last Lane, as rescue crews continue the search for the missing boater.

Related: Search continues for missing boater on Lake Wylie