Teen Found Safe on Lake Hartwell
By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia
A South Carolina teen that went missing on Lake Hartwell Sunday night is safe.
Georgia Department of Natural Resources Law Enforcement Officer Craig Fulgum said the boy, identified as 15-year-old Noah Day of Piedmont, South Carolina went missing Sunday night near Sadler Creek State Park on U.S. Highway 29 on the South Carolina side of the lake.
“At approximately 8 p.m. (Sunday), the 15-year-old was going from the Sadler Creek State Park to a boat ramp to meet his father and never showed up,” said Fulgum.
The Georgia DNR, Hart County Sheriff’s Office, and other state agencies joined the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources in searching through the night for the teen who was riding a 14-foot personal water craft.
Fulgum said searchers combed the entire lake via boat and using planes and helicopters.
Day went missing during the height of severe thunderstorms across the lake Sunday night and a lookout was placed in Georgia for his watercraft.
According to Fulgum, authorities had several calls on the Georgia side of the lake from people who thought they had seen Day’s watercraft heading towards Hartwell Dam.
Then, Fulgum said at about 10:30 a.m. Monday, Day was found on a boat dock in the Carter’s Ferry area of the lake on the Georgia side.
“He had battery trouble and drifted into Georgia waters,” said Fulgum. “He went through that bad storm but was able to pull up to a dock. Rescue boats were near the area but did not see him because he was asleep on the dock.”
Fulgum explained that a passing boater saw Day trying to get his personal watercraft started and recognized it as the one reported missing.
“That is when the passersby recognized him as being the missing teen from last night,” said Fulgum. “He is now being reunited with his parents at Sadler Creek State Park. Other than being shook up from his ordeal he appears to be in good health.”
Fulgum said it would have been easy during Sunday night’s storm for the teen to have gotten disoriented on the lake.