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Authorities searching Lanier for drowning victim
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Forsyth County News

BUFORD — Authorities planned to reconvene their search today for the victim of a possible drowning reported Monday night, according to the Hall County Sheriff’s Office.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources scanned the water Tuesday in the Big Creek Park area near Holiday Marina, concluding about 6 p.m.

"DNR rangers are searching for the subject utilizing Side Scan and Sector Scan sonar and a remotely operated underwater vehicle," DNR public affairs officer Mark McKinnon wrote Tuesday afternoon in a statement.

Sheriff’s office spokeswoman Deputy Nicole Bailes said the search would recommence at 8 this morning.

Hall County Fire Services responded to the call after 8 p.m. Monday in the Big Creek Park area on the south end of the lake.

A woman jumped into the water from her boat and never resurfaced, Bailes said.

"Due to not knowing an exact location and the water being 80 to 90 feet deep, Hall County Fire Services-Marine Rescue divers will not be entering the water," fire spokesman Scott Cagle said late Monday night in a statement. "[The Department of Natural Resources] is running radar to better pinpoint a location."

The name of the victim has not been released as of Tuesday night. Few other details were available about the incident.

Earlier Monday, a woman suffered a severe head laceration after the boat she was operating was struck by another vessel in the Ada Creek area on the north side of Lake Lanier.

She was transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville and listed in serious but stable condition Monday, according to Sgt. Mike Burgamy, Lake Lanier supervisor for DNR.

Burgamy said the victim’s boat was sitting idle with a skier in the water near the mouth of the creek when another boat, traveling south out of the creek and into the lake channel, struck it.

Officials said they were not releasing the names of those involved as the investigation unfolds. Alcohol does not appear to be a factor, they said.

DNR reported there were four drownings, nine boating incidents and 17 boating under the influence arrests statewide over the three-day Labor Day weekend.

"We were hoping for a less-eventful weekend on the state’s waterways," Lt. Col. Jeff Weaver, assistant director of DNR’s Law Enforcement Division said in a statement. "We had Rangers across the state all weekend enforcing the boating laws and working boating incidents and drownings."

There were three injuries from three boating incidents on Lanier, according to DNR, along with five BUIs.