Crews recover Raleigh man’s body at Falls Lake after drowning

Wake County News

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (WNCN) – The body of a man who vanished while in Falls Lake with friends Saturday evening has been recovered from the lake, Wake County officials said just after 5 p.m. Sunday.

Rescue boats and EMS crews have been at Falls Lake since Saturday night after the drowning was reported earlier in the day.

The second drowning call of the day in Wake County was reported around 7 p.m. Saturday near New Light and Ghoston roads, which is about four miles west of Wake Forest.

Authorities identified the drowning victim as Kenneth Jerome Harris, 28, of Raleigh.

As of 3 p.m. Sunday, crews were still searching for Harris, Wake County Public Information Officer Eric Curry said.

Additionally, Curry said Sheriff Gerald Baker had called for more help from other jurisdictions to give the divers that have been on-scene since Saturday, a break.

Crews used sonar to try and find Harris. But, because the terrain of the lake has quick, moving currents it was making it challenging to locate the victim, Curry said.

Wake County Sheriff Gerald Baker says the incident happened when a group of friends were at a bank along Falls Lake when they realized one friend went under and never resurfaced. 

Harris was said to not have been wearing a life vest or know how to swim.

As of noon Sunday, search crews have still not found the missing man reported in a possible drowning from Saturday. (Judith Retana)

By 8:30 p.m. Saturday there was a large law enforcement presence on Falls Lake for a confirmed search and rescue for a man.

“We can’t stress enough that when you get in that water you have to be safe – you have to be a swimmer because this is not a pool where you have a floor and an understanding of where you’re swimming at,” Baker said.

Earlier in the afternoon, two children and their 26-year-old sister were taken to WakeMed after a drowning call in the Neuse River in Raleigh.

There were around 15 law enforcement cars responding, with multiple rescue boats in the water and EMS crews at the scene.

Curry said the area of the lake where the man vanished is very popular.

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