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Man Drowns After Falling Off Jet-Ski On High Rock Lake

According to Officer Ashely O'Hare, NC Wildlife Resource Commission, two individuals were riding a jet ski when the passenger, Taylor Hepler, 22, fell off the back of the jet ski and drowned.

DAVIDSON COUNTY, NC (WFMY) -- A man is dead after drowning in High Rock Lake Saturday night.

According to Officer Ashely O’Hare with the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, two individuals were riding a jet ski when the passenger, Taylor Hepler, 22, fell off the back of the jet ski and drowned. They were riding a jet ski near the Buddle Creek area.

Related: 10 Deaths Prompt Life-Jacket Warning to NC Boaters

Hepler was not wearing a life vest. The investigation is ongoing.

According to the NC Wildlife Resource Commission, this marks the 14th boating-related death this year. More than half of the incidents involved individuals who were not wearing life jackets.

"When you head out to the lake you don't want to think of potentially something bad happening," Officer O'Hare said. "You just have to make sure that at all times you're keeping a proper lookout. That your head's on a swivel."

Under North Carolina law, every person is required to wear a life vest when riding on a jet ski. Violating the law carries a $50 fine, according to O'Hare.

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