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Man who drowned in Lake Lanier identified
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Forysth County water units search Monday night at Shady Grove Campground. - photo by For the Forsyth County News

The Buzz: Week 20

By: Joshua Sutton

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CUMMING — The 20-year-old man Forsyth County emergency personnel and hospital staff tried to save from drowning Monday night has died, authorities said.

Quentin Aaron Muse of Braselton was pronounced dead at Northside Hospital-Forsyth, where he had been taken after being pulled from Lake Lanier at Shady Grove Campground.

Muse had reportedly been under water for about 40 minutes. Witnesses at the park said he was in a group of four swimmers when he began to yell for help.

A 21-year-old friend attempted to help Muse to shore but was unsuccessful, according to Epifanio Rodriguez, a spokesman with the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office.

The Forsyth County Fire Department’s dive team located Muse within 15 minutes of beginning their water search with the sheriff’s marine unit.

Muse, who was not breathing, was found in water that was about 9 feet deep and some 75 feet from shore.

The fire engine companies, all with divers, conducted a coordinated search for Muse after being dispatched about 8:25 p.m., according to Fire Division Chief Jason Shivers.

Thanks to witnesses, the divers had a narrow search area, Shivers said, which led to a rapid recovery and enabled the efforts to be conducted as an active rescue.

The friend who tried to save Muse was treated for water inhalation on scene but was not taken to a hospital.

An investigation found Muse has not wearing a life jacket.

An exact cause of what affected him remained unclear, but Shivers said Muse likely became exhausted or was simply unable to make it back.

Authorities believe Muse knew how to swim because he and the group had made it to a lake buoy, not more than 100 feet from the beach.

The group of swimmers were in an approved swim area and were customers of the campground, Shivers said.

Though they took the proper precaution by swimming with “buddies,” there are multiple ways to help further ensure safety, Shivers said.

Wearing a life jacket or bringing a life preserver can aid even those who are confident swimmers.

Shivers suggested keeping a floatation device on the shore line that can be thrown to someone in distress, even if it’s a cooler that floats.

Swimmers should be aware that the water in the lake is still chilly and will not warm until later in the summer.

Even if surface water along the shore may be warm up to the knees, the shock of colder water in deeper areas can cause cramps.

There are also many areas in the man-made lake that drop off suddenly, he said.

Anyone in the water, especially those who wade but cannot swim, should be aware that there may be underwater ledges and rapid drop-offs after a gradual slope.

Children should also never be allowed to swim alone and should always be supervised by adults.

Swimmers should have the ability to quickly call 911.