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Woman drowns in Lanier
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Forsyth County News

Authorities have identified the person who drowned Sunday night in Lake Lanier as a 59-year-old Cumming woman.

According to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, Marines Rosa Dillon fell off a dock at her Hope Road home about 6 p.m.

Her husband, Dan Dillon, told rescuers his wife was trying to grab a turtle when she went into the water. She didn’t know how to swim.

Unable to swim himself, Dillon reportedly jumped in after her to try to help.

According to the DNR, a neighbor heard the couple screaming and ran down to the dock to help and then called 911.

Forsyth County emergency personnel arrived to find both Marines Dillon and her husband a few feet away from the shore. She was unresponsive and they started CPR.

The husband was conscious, but appeared exhausted. Both were taken to Northside Hospital-Forsyth, according to the DNR, where Marines Dillon was later pronounced dead.

The death is the fifth on Lanier this year, with three of those occurring on the Forsyth County side of the lake.

On June 23, a 33-year-old Atlanta man drowned near the Two Mile Island chain in northeastern Forsyth.

There also was one lake drowning each in June, February and January. None of the people were wearing life jackets.

There were 10 deaths in 2012 and 17 in 2011, according to the DNR.

Sunday’s drowning marred what was otherwise a quiet July Fourth holiday weekend that saw rain cancel or postpone many area events.

There were three boating under the influence citations issued on Lanier, and one boating incident.

“Information from conservation rangers on Lake Lanier and statewide indicated that rain and the outlook of bad weather appeared to keep many boaters off the water,” said Melissa Cummings with the DNR.

“This may have contributed to the overall stats for boating to have been down during this normally busy holiday weekend.”

Statewide, there also were few boating incidents. A Sunday morning accident on Lake Allatoona in Bartow County claimed a life when a boat operator fell into the lake, and then was run over by the unmanned vessel.

The man, identified as Robert Lewis, 52, of Dallas died from his injuries. It was unclear what led to his falling off the boat.

Traffic incidents were few, with a Georgia State Patrol offiical saying the rain seemed to make for lighter-than-normal traffic conditions.