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Body of missing boater recovered from Catawba River

Gaston County EMS said four people were on a boat that sank early Monday. Three of them made it to shore safely.

GASTON COUNTY, N.C. — North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission confirms the body of a missing boater has been recovered from the Catawba River.

Dive teams were called to the scene after a boater went underwater and never resurfaced Monday morning. 

Gaston County EMS was called to the area of the Kevin Lofton Boat Landing in Belmont around 4:30 a.m. Monday. Authorities said four people were on a boat that took on water and sank.

A spokesperson for Belmont Police said three people were able to get to dry land and were given medical attention as a precaution.

Police said the boat was ferrying campers from an island in the river when it began to take on water. Authorities have not determined what caused the boat to begin sinking at this time. 

A toddler was found on the island with the girlfriend of one of the boaters. Belmont Fire Department picked them up and brought them safely to shore. They were not on the boat at the time of the accident.

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said it will be out on the river this weekend patrolling the area to make sure everyone is following boating safety guidelines and wearing life jackets.

“Summer months, it’s getting hot, more people are out on the lake,” said Brad Pickert with Belmont Police. “Just remember your boating safety and have lifejackets for everybody, and you know, this is just unfortunate.”

This is a developing story. Download the WCNC app for breaking news, weather and traffic alerts.

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