Be aware and focus on safety this summer season while enjoying area lakes

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The summer season is in full swing and visitors to area lakes continue to increase, especially with the Memorial Day holiday weekend approaching. Duke Energy encourages those enjoying water activities to remain vigilant and put safety first. 

“We continue to see a number of drownings and boating incidents each year,” said Scott Jolley, public safety and recreation planning project manager for Duke Energy. “Hot, sunny weather continues to bring people out to the lakes. We ask folks to keep an eye out for friends and family, speak up if you see something unsafe and remember to focus on safety while swimming or recreating this summer.”

Life jackets

Life jackets are essential for water safety, especially for children and inexperienced swimmers. Whether swimming or boating, wearing a properly fitting life jacket is essential and can save a life.

“We encourage visitors to take advantage of the life jacket loaner board program offered at some Duke Energy access areas,” said Jolley. “The life jackets can be borrowed for free, and they could help save a life.”

Additional safety tips:

  • Take swimming lessons.

  • Never swim alone or at night.

  • The lake bottom is not generally visible and the depth can change unexpectedly with dropoffs, carefully explore the bottom before wading or jumping into the water.

  • Lake temperature changes, currents and underwater hazards can make lakes on a river system particularly dangerous.

  • Remember that health conditions, fatigue and lake temperature changes can cause cramping.

  • Avoid alcohol use, this can impair both swimming skills and judgment, and increase dehydration.

  • Keep a life line with a throw ring nearby that you can throw to a swimmer who may appear to be in trouble. Consider taking turns swimming with one person on the shoreline available to throw out the lifeline or seek help.

  • Let someone know where you are and look out for others in your group.

  • Only swim and dive in designated areas.

  • Swimmers should also check weather and water conditions before getting into the lake.

Life jacket loaner board locations

Life jackets in a variety of sizes are available for temporary use. Visitors may check out a life jacket at no charge and then return it to the kiosk when done. Life jacket loaner boards are run on an honor system, and availability will vary.

Catawba-Wateree Lakes (N.C. and S.C.):

Lake Norman

  • Beatty’s Ford Access Area

Mountain Island Lake

  • Riverbend Access Area

  • Neck Road Access Area

Lake Wylie

  • Buster Boyd Access Area

  • Ebenezer Access Area

  • South Point Access Area

Lake Wateree

  • June Creek Access Area

  • Taylors Creek Access Area

  • Colonel’s Creek Access Area

  • Wateree Creek Access Area

Keowee-Toxaway Lakes (SC):

Lake Keowee

  • South Cove Access Area

  • High Falls Access Area

Lake Jocassee

  • Devils Fork State Park

Nantahala Lakes (NC):

Lake Glenville

  • Pines Recreation Area

Tuckasegee River Main Stem

  • East La Porte

  • Locust Creek

  • Dillsboro (Scotts Creek)

  • Barkers Creek

Duke Energy Progress Lakes (NC):

Hyco Lake

  • Hyco Lake Park Swimming Area

Real-time lake level information, scheduled flow release times and public access locations are available 24/7 at, which is configured for smart phones. For questions, please call Duke Energy Lake Services at 1-800-443-5193.

Learn more about this life jacket loaner program at:

About Duke Energy

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Media contact: Kim Crawford

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