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Diver's Death On Lake Norman Investigated

Ashley Burgin Propst
Bradley Long

The Iredell County Sheriff's office is investigating why a rescue diver died and two others were hurt as they searched for a drowning victim on Lake Norman Monday. 

The three divers were searching in deep murky water Monday afternoon when they had an unspecified "emergency." Two of the divers swam to shore and were hospitalized. But 28-year-old Bradley Long did not resurface.

Officials haven’t given details about what went wrong.  

Long’s body was recovered later Monday along with the body of the 29-year-old swimmer who drowned Sunday north of the Brawley School peninsula.

State Wildlife Resources Officer Scott Strickland says the drowning victim and two friends jumped off the boat to go for a swim. It was windy and the water was choppy. As the boat began to drift away, two men climbed back in. But the third had trouble swimming and disappeared.

Officials have not identified the man, at his family's request.  The family said the man knew how to swim.

Long had been a member of Sherrills Ford Fire-Rescue for 12 years, and also was a fire captain for Newton Fire Department.

The deaths were the first this boating season on Lake Norman.

Firefighters, state police and family members were planning to escort Bradley Long’s body from Wake Forest-Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem along I-40 to a church in Conover on Wednesday.  They're also inviting people to pay their respects from highway overpasses along the route. 

Map shows the incident site, north of Brawley School peninsula, near McCrary's Creek. 


David Boraks is a veteran journalist who covers climate change for WFAE. See more at www.wfae.org/climate-news. He also has covered housing and homelessness, energy and the environment, transportation and business.