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Hard turn proves fatal

MARCH 13 — State and local authorities continued Monday to search for a North Carolina boater who fell overboard last Friday while boating with his fiancée.

The 35-year-old man, of Moorseville, N.C., was apparently operating his boat at a high rate of speed on LakeNorman when he told his 37-year-old fiancée to “hold on, because I’m going to show you what this boat can do,” news reports say. The man then turned the boat hard to port and both he and his fiancée fell overboard.

Mike Stelzer, a local resident, saw the unmanned boat driving in circles, and spotted two people in the 50-degree water, say reports. Neither was wearing a PFD. Stelzer called 911, boarded his pontoon boat and rushed out to where the couple was. When he arrived he pulled the woman onto his boat, but the man was nowhere in sight.

“She kept saying, ‘He drowned. He drowned,’ ” Stelzer says in a report. “She held up her hand [to show an engagement ring] and said, `It's my fiancé. We were supposed to be married in two weeks.' "

The woman was taken to an area hospital for treatment, reports say. Authorities were uncertain how long the search would continue for the man, presumed drowned.

Jason Fell