Whitewater Center employee dies after incident along Catawba Riv - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

Whitewater Center employee dies after incident along Catawba River

Patrick Halstead Patrick Halstead
CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) -

A man has passed away from his injuries less than 48 hours after trying to pull his keys out of the Catawba River near the U.S. National Whitewater Center.

According to his pastor, Patrick Halstead was taken off life support on Friday afternoon and died from his injuries around 2:30 p.m.

Halstead was undergoing a specialized treatment at a Charlotte hospital after the incident on Wednesday just before 5:30 p.m.

"He was just a nice guy, and the world needs more nice people. It's sad that we lost somebody like that but it makes me want to be nicer to everyone," said Renee Johnson, Halstead's childhood friend.

Management at the U.S. National Whitewater Center said an employee was searching for his own keys in a branch of the Catawba River near the park, when he went underwater and didn't come back up.

USNWC officials say Patrick exited the dock into water approximately 4 feet deep to look for the keys. 

He went under the dock where he was talking to another staff member on the dock to help position himself where the keys went into the water. 

When Patrick stopped talking with the staff member on the dock, that staff member became concerned and performed an immediate search.  The staff member radioed for additional support.

This is a flat water boating area on the Catawba, but part of the USNWC.

Several employees started searching for Halstead. They found him floating and unconscious. His coworkers brought him to shore and performed CPR.

Medical crews arrived to assist, and they were able to get Halstead's pulse back before a medical helicopter flew him to the hospital.

"Patrick was a vital, gifted, very sweet young man and a wonderful father, and it's just tragic that his life was cut off so short," said Pastor Jeff Walling of Providence Road Church of Christ.

A memorial service is slated to be held at the Providence Road Church of Christ on Sunday afternoon at 3:30 p.m., Walling told WBTV.

His friends and family are posting updates on a Facebook page called "Praying for Patrick."

Halstead has worked for the USNWC for a little more than a month.

Copyright 2012 WBTV. All rights reserved.

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