On Saturday, June 9th, 2018 at approximately 7:16 PM, both Corporal Elizabeth Watts and Officer Graham Smith were aboard Cornelius Police Vessel Marine 4 heading west out of the Ramsey Creek Cove area on Lake Norman. Corporal Watts and Officer Smith were navigating through a large and heavy storm when they noticed a sailboat which had capsized and was sinking. Once they got closer to this vessel they noticed that in the water there were four citizens trying to hang on to the slick sides and bottom of the capsized vessel. Officer Smith stayed at the helm while Corporal Watts went and started pulling these subjects into Marine 4 from the stern. All parties were brought aboard Marine 4 and given life jackets. Corporal Watts and Officer Smith remained on scene with the capsized vessel to insure it was not struck by any other passing vessels. All the sail boat’s occupants advised they did not need medical attention but were thankful officers were on scene to help so quickly.
During this operation Corporal Watts and Officer Smith were extremely professional and operated with a high level of composure. It is also very likely that lives were saved because of their actions. Once again this is an example of what sets the Cornelius Police Lake Patrol Unit aside from others.
On Wednesday, December 12, 2018, Corporal Watts and Officer Smith were presented with the Distinguished Service Award during a ceremony at the Cornelius Police Department for their actions that day.