Troopers Find Man Stranded On Kerr Lake For 2 Days

Tuesday, September 10th 2019, 10:42 pm
By: Kristen Weaver

A man stranded on a boat on an island in the middle of a lake for two days is finally back home.

Troopers searched for him from the air and on the water. Troopers said the man was just out enjoying his boat on the Robert S. Kerr Reservoir Sunday, when he began to have mechanical issues.

They didn't find him until Tuesday morning. 

"The aircraft is such an instrumental piece of equipment when you're on the third largest body of water in the state," said Trooper Rodney Copeland, who helped search from the sky.

Copeland said their OHP aircraft gave them a new view of Kerr Lake to help in the search. 

"He was out for a pleasure ride Sunday evening," he said. "Something mechanical happened with the current. It washed him into an island area."

Copeland said the man didn't have a cell phone. Friends tried searching for him, but yesterday they contacted OHP for help.

"We launched our boat and ran out the main river channel," Copeland said. "We spent the daylight hours checking for him."

They came back again Tuesday morning, and with their new view from the sky, and help from troopers in the water, they were able to find his boat in just 15 minutes. 

"He was in good spirits. The minute he spotted us he started waving his hands, I don't believe he stopped for 15 minutes," Copeland said. 

Troopers took him back to shore, and said his friends took his boat back. He's doing just fine now, Copeland said.

He's grateful the situation had this outcome since it could've been much worse.

"It was a blessing it ended up a successful rescue instead of recovery," Copeland said. 

Copeland said if you get stranded like in this situation, stay with your boat since it's easier for law enforcement to locate you.

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