MAN DROWNS IN CHATTAHOOCHEE RIVER
(Suwanee, Ga., July 31, 2017) – A Gwinnett County man drowned in the Chattahoochee River at Settles Bridge Park in Suwanee on Sunday, July 30, 2017 around 7:57 p.m. Firefighters and police responded to a 9-1-1 report that a man, approximate age-18, was unaccounted for after jumping into the river from the old bridge structure. The man was at the river with a group of friends when the incident occurred. He resurfaced once and appeared to be in distress. One of his friends and a second-river patron initially tried to rescue the man, but said that he became combative and went back underwater and did not resurface. He was not wearing a life jacket.
Rescue boats from Gwinnett Fire and John’s Creek Fire responded to the scene to conduct a search of the river. Due to the circumstances, the Hall County Dive Team was also requested to assist, but were cancelled once the victim was located. Members of the Gwinnett Fire Swift Water Rescue Team (SRT) were able to locate the man at 8:52 p.m. on the bottom of the river in about 10-foot of water. He was discovered approximately 50-yards downstream from the bridge structure and was carried to shore by Gwinnett Boat-14. Paramedics administered advanced life support measures and transported the man to Northside Forsyth Hospital in Cumming. He was pronounced deceased shortly after arrival at the hospital. The fire department is unable to release the name of the victim or specific injury information due to federal patient privacy laws known as HIPAA. Please contact the Gwinnett Police PIO for information about the victim’s identity. The name will be released by the police department when it becomes available.
The U.S. Park Service and the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) were notified about the incident. According to officials, it is illegal to climb on or jump from the old bridge structure. Life jackets are also required on the river at Settles Bridge.