State authorities and emergency personnel from multiple counties continue to search for a fisherman who has been missing since a boating accident on Lake Gaston Sunday morning.
Warren County Emergency Services Director Dennis Paschall on Tuesday afternoon said that emergency personnel were continuing their search for Brian Harold of McGaheysville, Va.
Roanoke Wildwood Fire Chief Lorenzo Wilkins is heading the search and investigation with assistance from state authorities and fire, rescue, emergency medical services and sheriff’s office personnel from multiple counties surrounding Lake Gaston.
He reported that two men were participating in a fishing tournament Sunday morning when the accident occurred. Emergency personnel have not released the name of the second fisherman involved in the boating accident.
A witness, Sally Wood of Wildwood Point Subdivision, said she looked out her window and saw an empty boat floating down the lake toward Lake Gaston Dam and a fisherman going toward it.
Thinking the fisherman would pull the boat in, the family continued to watch. When he rushed toward their property without the empty boat, Wood said the family became concerned.
According to Wood, the fisherman found one of the victims in the water near the point and an uninflated life jacket nearby.
“They found one man in his life jacket not far off the point,” she said. “They pulled him out. He was unconscious. I think the other one, his jacket didn’t deploy. We (called out) and asked if we could help. He told us to call 911.”
The fisherman performed CPR and revived the victim, who was able to talk.
The Woods called 911, and the younger members of the family used a pontoon boat to go out on the lake to look for the missing fisherman. They returned soon afterward, reporting high waves and treacherous water conditions.
Wilkins said that the fisherman pulled from the water was airlifted in critical condition to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville.
He said that the cause of the accident remains under investigation.
Wilkins expressed appreciation for assistance provided by emergency personnel and people from the Lake Gaston area.
“We appreciate all the support from the community and agencies assisting us,” he said. “A special thanks to the Wildwood Point Home Owners Association for allowing us to set up in the (subdivision facilities).”
Della Rose is editor of the Lake Gaston Gazette-Observer in Littleton. Luci Weldon is assistant editor at The Warren Record.