Sherrills Ford-Terrell Firefighter Dies During Search for Missing Swimmer
CATAWBA COUNTY, NC – A 28 year old firefighter with the Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire Rescue Department died Monday afternoon while searching for a missing swimmer on Lake Norman.
Bradley Long was reported missing following a diving emergency. Two other firefighters were removed from the water and transported to area medical facilities with non-life-threatening de-compression injuries.
A swimmer was reported missing on Sunday and regional search and rescue agencies responded to assist with the search. The search resumed on Monday.
During the search Monday afternoon, an emergency was reported with divers in trouble and one missing. The Charlotte Fire Department Dive Rescue Team responded along with additional resources. CFD divers were able to recover the initial missing swimmer.
A somber press conference was held Monday evening where the announcement was made of the lost firefighter.
Lake Norman is the largest fresh water lake in North Carolina and lies in Mecklenburg, Iredell, Lincoln and Catawba counties. It occupies just over 50 square miles of water surface area.
Catawba County fire station and department locations.
Incident Description from USFA:
Captain Bradley Long and one other diver were searching for a missing 29-year-old man in Lake Norman when they encountered an emergency. A third diver entered the water after a Mayday was called. While the two other divers eventually surfaced, Captain Long never resurfaced and was later recovered and pronounced dead at the scene. Rescue crews had been searching Lake Norman for the missing man a day prior to the emergency involving Captain Long. Officials said that the missing man jumped off a boat with two other people. The boat was not anchored and started to float away. The three tried to swim and catch up with the boat, but the missing man was not able to make it back to the boat. While the search for the man was suspended when Captain Long went missing, officials confirmed that the body of the missing man was eventually recovered as well. The two other divers were responsive when taken to the hospital for treatment, one of which has been released.
ARRANGEMENTS ARE AS FOLLOWS:
Visitation is Friday June 10 at Mt View Baptist Church, 5045 E. Maiden Road, Maiden, NC from 1600-2100.
The memorial service will be held at the church on Saturday June 11 starting at 1100. A private family/fire departments burial will follow.
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