By WECT Staff | June 12, 2021 at 9:46 AM EDT – Updated June 14 at 7:34 AM
COLUMBUS COUNTY, N.C. (WECT) – A St. Paul’s, North Carolina man was found dead Sunday morning as his body was recovered from Lake Waccamaw, according to the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Officials say 34-year-old Francisco Hernandez was at the lake Friday driving a jet ski towing two boys behind him on a float. They say the boys jumped from the float and when Hernandez noticed them struggling to swim, he entered the water to give them his life jacket.
According to the NCDCR, the boys made it back to shore safely but Hernandez went under the water. Crews from several departments including state park staff, the Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Columbus County Sheriff’s Office, Lake Waccamaw Fire, Rescue, and Police Departments, Tabor City Fire Department, and Bladen County Water Rescue searched using boats, divers, and a helicopter before finding Hernandez’ body on Sunday.
North Carolina State Parks officials confirmed on Saturday that crews were looking for a person at Lake Waccamaw.
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