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Lake search called off
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Forsyth County News
After 12 days and more than 1,200 man hours, the Forsyth County Fire Department has called off the search for an apparent drowning victim.

Capt. Jason Shivers said that Chief Danny Bowman halted the search Friday morning after consulting with divers and the father of 27-year-old Rohan Mathew of Lawrenceville.

Mathew had no family living in the U.S., but his father had flown in from India to visit the search area Wednesday, Shivers said.

“At this point, we know there’s no one left to rescue,” Shivers said. "It’s all about getting closure for the family.

“His father knows that we’ve done all we can do, and seemed satisfied with the effort we’ve made."

Along with the fire department, the Hall County dive team had assisted in the efforts, along with the Georgia State Patrol, which used a helicopter, and Forsyth County Sheriff's deputies, who searched by boat and personal watercraft.   

Dawson County authorities sent a dog trained to locate the scent of bodies.

Shivers said witnesses all agreed on the area where the victim went under May 2, and the dogs detected something in that part of the lake, which is 60 to 120 feet deep.

Divers searched repeatedly, but were hampered by conditions under water.

“The trees down there are so thick the divers can’t safely go in, and the sonar kept catching on branches,” Shivers said. “It’s possible that the scent the dogs are hitting is coming from that area, and drifting with the current before it reaches the surface.”

While the search has officially been called off, Shivers said that agencies that normally patrol the lake will spend extra time in the area. 

“Obviously, we’d much rather make the discovery ourselves than to have a family on the lake find the victim,” he said.