MT. ISLAND LAKE, N.C.-- Friends say they thought Samuel Do Nascimento knew how to swim, before he developed a cramp and drowned while swimming in Mountain Island Lake Friday afternoon.
Search crews recovered Do Nascimento’s body just before 4pm Saturday, nearly a day after he drowned near the Mountain Island Lake Dam. They had spent more than ten hours searching before locating the victim with side Sonar in 46 feet of water.
Do Nascimento had spent Friday afternoon boating with friends before he and others decided to take a swim.
“He developed some problems swimming,” said Chief David Toomey of Lucia-Riverbend Fire & Rescue, “So they threw him a life preserver and he wasn’t able to grab it in time -- and he went under and never resurfaced.”
Do Nascimento’s friends were still at the boat ramp off Highway 16 Saturday afternoon, when search crews brought their friend’s body to shore. They showed us a cell phone picture of the tan, happy 34-year-old just minutes before he drowned.
"Right now it's kind of painful for us," said one, declining to talk about what happened. They did say Do Nascimento was from Brazil, but had lived and worked in Charlotte for about three years. He has two children – one in Brazil and one in the United States.
Investigators said no alcohol was involved -- just fatigue, as he and a friend took a swim.
"They said he had developed cramps.. both of them had developed cramps,” said Toomey. “One made it to the boat and the other one didn't."