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WEEKEND DROWNING AT LAKE LANIER
(Buford, Ga., July 31, 2023) - At 7:24 p.m. on Saturday, July 29, 2023, firefighters responded to occupants requesting assistance in a boat on Lake Lanier. The 911 callers stated that a 61-year-old male with their group jumped in the water to swim and became distressed after requesting a lifejacket to be thrown to him. By the time the group in the boat could get a lifejacket, the male was under the water, which was the last known location of the male.
Gwinnett County Fire's Swiftwater Rescue Team and Gwinnett County Police's Aviation Unit were able to locate the stranded boat with six others aboard and assisted them to the shore. Using an Apple Watch, the victim was wearing, crews on the scene triangulated an area to grid search using the Side-Scan Sonar system. With the assistance of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Hall County Fire Rescue, Gwinnett County Police's Aviation Unit, and the requested Forsyth County Fire Department's Dive Team, crews were able to locate the victim's body utilizing a submersible Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV). After approximately 45 minutes of being submerged in the water, the body was recovered 110 feet below the water's surface. The initial depth where the bystanders last saw the victim was approximately 45 feet below the water's surface. Hall County Fire and Rescue's boat transported the victim to the shore at East Bank Park, where the body was transferred to Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services' medical crews.
Medical crews on the scene confirmed the death of the male. Crews then demobilized at the scene, waiting for the coroner and the Medical Examiner to arrive. The victim's body was turned over to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner for further investigation.
EQUIPMENT AT THE SCENE INCLUDED: 1- Engine, 1- Ladder Truck, 2- Med Units, 1- Swiftwater Rescue Team, 1-Squad, 1- Command Staff Vehicle, 1-Gwinnett County PD Aviation Unit, and 1- PIO.