Man dies after launching boat at Smith Mountain Lake

Man dies after launching boat at Smith Mountain Lake
Smith Mountain Lake (Source: WDBJ7)

(WDBJ) - A man died Friday after falling into Smith Mountain Lake while handling a boat being launched for a day of fishing.

Two men launched their boat from the Penhook boat ramp before Richard Donald Haynes 3rd, of Axton, fell into the water about 25 feet from the launch site. The boat kept drifting out into the cove, with Haynes trying to climb back into it unsuccessfully.

A bystander noticed Haynes struggling as he was swimming back to shore and proceeded to enter the water to try and help him. A lifejacket was thrown in the water by two other bystanders, using a rope to try and help the two get back to shore faster. Haynes was not wearing a lifejacket when he fell into the water.

EMS performed CPR when they arrived back at the dock.

The Virginia Department of Wildlife Resources was aided in this case by the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department, Glade Hill Rescue Squad, and Cool Branch Fire and Rescue.

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