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Bradley Steven Long


Sherrills Ford – Terrell Fire and Rescue (SFTFR) firefighters were dispatched to Lake Norman at 1522 hours on June 5, 2016, for the report of a drowning. Firefighters were able to locate a possible target at the bottom of the lake but called off the recovery process for the night based on weather and lack of light.

On June 6, 2016, firefighters responded back to the lake to commence recovery operations. Captain Long and 1 other firefighter, aided by sonar, entered the water at approximately 1541hrs. After being under water for approximately 15 minutes, the divers were ordered back to the surface. The divers paused at approximately 20 feet during their ascent for a safety stop. At this point, Captain Long ran out of air and was in distress. The mask of the other diver was knocked off, he surfaced, and sounded the alarm that a diver was down.

Initial attempts to rescue Captain Long were unsuccessful. Captain Long’s body was recovered from the lake. At autopsy, the cause of death was listed as an arterial gas embolism.

Incident Location: Lake Norman, NC (U.S. National Grid: 17S NV 07 28)

photo of the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial
Bradley Steven Long was honored on the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, Maryland and was included in the USFA’s annual report Firefighter Fatalities in the United States.

Department information

Sherrills Ford-Terrell Fire and Rescue
4011 Slanting Bridge Road
Sherrills Ford, North Carolina 28673

Chief: Rick E. Davis

Age: 28
Rank: Captain
Classification: Volunteer
Incident date: June 6, 2016 16:00
Date of death: June 6, 2016
Cause of fatal injury: Out of Air
Nature of fatal injury: Drowning
Activity type: Search and Rescue
Emergency duty: Yes
Duty type: On-Scene Non-Fire

Last updated: August 29, 2017