CORNELIUS – It was around 2 p.m. Sept. 1 when the six people aboard Todd Kerschbaumer's 27-foot Donzi boat noticed something very disturbing. 

The boat was sinking into the waters of Lake Norman. 

A Cornelius resident and boater of 25 years, Kerschbaumer said the Donzi was anchored and tied to a line of other vessels off The Sandbar in Cornelius.  

"It was choppy down there that day," he said. "The boat has two plates for access to the hull. One came off, and we didn't notice it, and water started getting into the hull."  

After two minutes, the boat was submerged and eventually flipped upside down in the water. All passengers got out safely, and the boat was towed to dry land.