A 20-year-old man from Sanford drowned in Jordan Lake on Sunday afternoon after he and a woman had waded into the water with their clothes on and were unable to get back to shore when a storm blew up, state park officials said Monday.
Bystanders were able to help the woman to shore at the Ebenezer Church recreation area, but Luis Enrique Castro slipped under the water and did not re-emerge, parks spokesman Don Reuter said.
North Chatham Volunteer Fire Department rescue crews were called about 5:20 p.m. and found Castro about 70 minutes later, Reuter said.
Castro was wearing clothes, which would make it harder to swim, Reuter said. People who were with the pair said she could not swim, but Castro could, he added.
Water in the reservoir is higher than normal because of heavy rains last week, and the park has closed some areas because of flooding.
The Ebenezer Church area was open, although areas had been marked as unsafe because of debris covered by the unusually high water, officials said.
According to Reuter and firefighters, Castro and his companion had gone out to a line of floats that marks the edge of the swimming area.
In normal conditions, the line marks relatively shallow water, Reuter said.
Castro and the woman began trying to get back to the beach when a brief storm blew up, officials said. Winds made the water choppy, which made it harder to get through it to safety, Reuter said.