PITTSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — A 13-year-old boy has become the ninth drowning victim at Jordan Lake so far this year, according to the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office.

The drowning happened Sunday at about 5:30 p.m. at Jordan Lake’s Parkers Creek Beach, according to Chatham County Sheriff Mike Robertson. The drowning took place five days after a woman was found dead in Jordan Lake in an unrelated incident.

Robertson identified the victim as Kevin Lopez, 13, of Locust, which is in Stanly County. His body was recovered by the sheriff’s office that same afternoon. An investigation showed no signs of foul play.

In the wake of this unfortunate incident, Sheriff Roberson is emphasizing the “critical importance” of water safety and the need for vigilance and responsible water recreation practices, including the use of life jackets.

“Our hearts go out to the victim’s family,” said Sheriff Roberson. “This unfortunate incident serves as a poignant reminder that water safety should always be a top priority, especially during holiday weekends when waterways are bustling with activity.”

In addition to life jackets, the Chatham County Sheriff’s Office recommends the following water safety tips:

  1. Always have a designated adult responsible for watching children near water. Drowning can happen quickly and silently.
  2. Stay in designated swimming areas.
  3. Enroll in swimming lessons to enhance water competence and confidence.
  4. Avoid alcohol and impairing drugs when participating in water activities. Impairment can lead to poor judgment and coordination.
  5. Keep an eye on weather conditions and avoid water activities during storms or adverse weather.
  6. If boating, ensure all safety equipment, including life jackets, is on board and in good condition. Follow boating regulations and guidelines.