The body of a 34-year-old Cumming man who went missing after his Jet Ski and a bass fishing boat collided Monday night was found near north Forsyth’s Six Mile Creek Tuesday evening.
Law enforcement officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, located and retrieved Yakov Shteyman’s body around 7:38 p.m. April 11 after spending about six and a half hours Monday night and the majority of Tuesday searching, according to Mark McKinnon, public affairs officer for the DNR.
“The incident is still under investigation by CIRT; they are determining exactly how it happened,” said DNR Sgt. Mike Burgamy, sergeant supervisor for Lake Lanier. “It’s too early to tell [Shteyman's] cause of death, but an autopsy has been requested.
“It depends on the case [whether] there’s an autopsy, but in this type of case, it’s standard procedure.”
It was not immediately clear whether drugs or alcohol are suspected as factors in the accident.
Maj. Stephen Adams with the DNR’s special operations division said the investigation will take about eight to 10 weeks, plus toxicology.
Around 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 10, the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement personnel responded to Charleston Park in north Forsyth after deputies received reports of an “average-sized” Gambler bass boat and a Jet Ski colliding, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office.
“We made the initial missing person report from when he fell off the Jet Ski [Monday] night,” Rainwater said early Tuesday.
Shteyman's family was at the scene Tuesday morning, but his identity was not released until late afternoon, several hours before his body was found.
The driver of the boat, who was the only occupant on the vessel at the time of the accident, has reportedly been cooperating with authorities and helped the DNR’s Critical Incident Reconstruction Team, or CIRT, pinpoint the search area, DNR Region 1 Supervisor Capt. Johnny Johnson said.
The search Monday, which involved aviation from the DeKalb County Police Department, Forsyth’s marine unit, Forsyth’s sheriff’s office and fire department personnel and equipment and DNR’s helicopter and boats, concluded around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, Johnson said.
DNR and Forsyth officials were back on scene around 9 a.m. Tuesday, though CIRT took over the search.
Deputies and the sheriff’s office mobile command center served as support for CIRT, which will now conduct the investigation into Shteyman’s death.
The fatality is the second on the lake already this year.
In February, a 37-year-old Buford man drowned off a dock in Hall County.
The DNR recorded 22 fatalities on Lake Lanier in 2016.
“This is early,” Johnson said. “We don’t like to start [having fatalities] this early. Usually, it’s around Memorial Day weekend when everything starts.
“It’s difficult to look forward to a summer when it starts like this.”