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After 300 attempts, DNR ends sonar search for missing woman on Lake Lanier
Authorities search Monday, July 23, 2018, for an Atlanta woman who likely drowned in an area between Port Royale and Old Federal Park in Lake Lanier on July 22.- photo by By Scott Rogers - photo by By Scott Rogers

Authorities have stopped conducting deep, underwater searches for an Atlanta woman who went missing on Lake Lanier July 22.

“We scaled back the search beginning Saturday morning, as we believe we have covered the area as thoroughly as we can with (sonar) equipment,” Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon said Monday, July 30.

Last week, the DNR “dropped sector scan sonar to the bottom almost 300 times, while also utilizing DNR helicopters, side scan sonar, Hall County divers and a cadaver dog,” McKinnon said.

The Army Corps of Engineers also helped in the search.

McKinnon said the search area is about 130 square acres and ranges from 65 to 100 feet deep, with “standing timber on the bottom.”

Rangers “will continue to perform surface searches as part of (regular) patrols several times a day,” he said.

Basically, that would entail “patrolling the area slowly and checking the shoreline,” McKinnon said.

“We hope to bring closure to the family soon,” he added.

Authorities have been trying to find Madeline Sinagra, 31, who jumped off a sailboat to go for a swim when the boat drifted away from her.

The incident occurred just before 4 p.m. in an area between Port Royale Marina in Forsyth County and Old Federal Park in South Hall.

A male aboard the boat said that while the woman was attempting to swim back to the boat she became fatigued, Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks has said.

He tried to throw her a line but was unsuccessful. He then went into the water in an attempt to rescue her, but was unable to locate her after she went under and did not resurface.

The male’s name and relationship to Sinagra haven’t been disclosed.

The sheriff’s office has talked to the male, spokesman Derreck Booth said last week.

“He’s helped the team doing the search kind of narrow down where they’re diving,” he said.