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Two drownings at Lake Lanier in less than 24 hours
Lake Lanier

Authorities currently are investigating two drownings at Lake Lanier in less than a 24-hour span.

The body of Reginald Terrell Whitehead, 30, of Perry, was located around 10:45 p.m. at Shoal Creek Park.

Hall County Fire Services was on the scene with Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Forsyth County authorities on a reported drowning at the day use area of the South Hall Park.

Initial reports indicate that a personal watercraft operator was attempting to bring a watercraft into the boat ramp when it overturned.

Capt. Zachary Brackett, Division Chief with Hall County Fire Services, said authorities were called to the scene at 8:33 p.m. and divers were there within 10 minutes, but the victim was not initially located.

"He was pulling into a boat ramp when it turned over and he went over,” Brackett said.

Authorities said Whitehead was not wearing a personal flotation device and was unable to swim. 

"One of the family members saw that the victim was in distress and attempted a rescue, while another bystander also attempted to assist with a throwable flotation device, but both were unsuccessful," Hall County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks wrote in a news release.

After an hour of searching, the dive team turned the search over to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. DNR's remote operated vehicle located the body at 10:45 p.m., and divers made the recovery around 11:30 p.m. 

The body was sent for an autopsy.

A 61-year-old man’s body was recovered from Lake Lanier just after midnight Saturday, May 25.

Michael Thompson was pronounced dead in what appears to be a drowning near his boat dock in the 5400 block of Pine Forest Road. He was found in the water by a family member, according to Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks with the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

Wilbanks said there were “no obvious signs of trauma” and it is “believed to be an accidental drowning.”

Hall County Fire Services also responded to the drowning.

The case is still under investigation by the Hall County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Hall County Fire Services also investigated two near drownings from residential swimming pools Saturday.

The first happened around 12:53 p.m. in the 4400 block of Gillsville Highway. A 13-year-old boy was recovered unconscious from the swimming pool, and a bystander performed CPR.

The boy was conscious when transported to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Scottish Rite emergency.

The second near drowning happened around 4:22 p.m. in the 5500 block of Clarks Bridge Road in North Hall. A bystander performed CPR on a 9-year-old boy before he was transported non-emergency to Northeast Georgia Medical Center.

Brackett did not have any further information on the near drownings late Saturday.

Times staff writer Layne Saliba contributed to this report.

 

 

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