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Body of boater who drowned found in Lake Lanier
Man jumped into water after boat drifted away near Clarks Bridge Park
10-14 drowning 950x
Crews search an area of Lake Lanier near Clarks Bridge Park where a man went missing late Sunday. - photo by Scott Rogers-The Gainesville Times

GAINESVILLE — Divers recovered a drowning victim Monday morning in about 5.5 feet of water at Clarks Bridge Park.

Decatur resident Earl Cosby, 60, reportedly jumped in the water late Sunday night trying to retrieve his boat, which had drifted from the loading ramp.

“Mr. Cosby removed his water boots and jacket and dove into the lake after his boat,” said Hall County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Nicole Bailes. “After realizing that he could not get the boat back on his own, he attempted to swim back to the boat ramp area. Mr. Cosby became distressed/fatigued and went under, never resurfacing.”

Bailes said Cosby’s son-in-law attempted to rescue him before calling for help.

Personnel with the sheriff’s office, Hall County Fire Services, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Natural Resources responded to the scene about 9:50 p.m. Sunday.

According to Bailes, they resumed their search about 9 a.m. Monday. Cosby was found about 11:45 a.m. near the boat ramp.

Cosby’s death marks the 10th drowning in Lanier this year. There were six in 2013.

This year’s drownings include 32-year-old Cannon Callender, an off-duty Lawrenceville police officer who was last seen alive swimming to an island near Little Ridge Park in Forsyth County in June.

Someone nearby heard screams for help before Callender went under. He was later recovered in 8 to 10 feet of water.

And a father and son, Leonel and Elton Torres, drowned this summer when Elton went into the water chasing a ball, but could not swim.

When he got in trouble, Leonel went in after him, but quickly encountered danger himself.