A father and his 6-year-old son drowned Tuesday afternoon while sliding off a rock at Dicks Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest.
The body of Joshua Kistler, 38, of Dahlonega, was found by emergency personnel shortly after rescue workers arrived, according to Lt. Chris Pfrogner of the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office. He said the body of Kistler’s son, Jaxon, was found later in the afternoon.
“It’s just a really tragic accident,” Pfrogner said.
The accident was reported just before 2 p.m. at the falls, which is off Dicks Creek Road. Pfrogner said witnesses did not know how long the father and son had been at the falls.
“The witnesses saw them slide off the rock and go below the surface,” Pfrogner said. “The son slid off the rock after the father. And the father was trying to help him back up on the rock, and eventually he drowned and the son drowned as well.”
He said witnesses told emergency workers the boy did not resurface after he went under the water.
Pfrogner added that the water levels vary, but is about 8-10 feet deep at the location where the father and son drowned, but said there are holes in some places beneath the surface making some areas deeper.
Responders from U.S. Forest Service, Georgia Department of Natural Resources, and Hall and Forsyth county sheriff’s offices assisted Lumpkin County sheriff, fire and emergency rescue workers at the site.
Dicks Creek has long been a popular destination in Lumpkin County for waterfalls and its swimming hole.