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Drowning ruled accidental by Forsyth County authorities
Lake Lanier

Authorities say that the body of a Forsyth County man was recovered from Lake Lanier late last week, in what has been classified as an accidental drowning.

According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Cpl. Doug Rainwater, the man, 54-year-old Wesley Echols was seen paddling a boat in a cove near 6 Mile Creek Park by a local resident at about 2 a.m. on Friday, June 21.

Rainwater said that witnesses called 911 and reported that the man appeared to be intoxicated, and when deputies arrived at the scene they could see and hear a white male boating in the cove, talking to them with slurred and unclear speech.

 A deputy boarded the complainant’s boat and was driven out into the cove to make contact with the male, but by the time they reached the boat, Rainwater said that the man was missing.

Reports state that officers with the Department of Natural Resources later recovered Echols body in the area.

“There is no sign of foul play,” a sheriff’s office report states. “This will be classified as an accidental drowning.”

Due to witnesses that were present during the incident and the lack of evidence indicating foul play, the Georgia Bureau of Investigations has declined to perform an autopsy on the body, but a toxicology report will be completed, Rainwater said.