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Lake Lanier Recovery Divers, forensic dog team instrumental in recovery of Atlanta man's body from lake
Michel Galliot
Michel Galliot, K9 Search Special Operations from Jonesville, S.C., was instrumental in locating the body. - courtesy Richard Pickering, Lake Lanier Recovery Divers

According to Department of Natural Resources Lt. Judd Smith, Kaiyan Ding's body was recovered at around 3 p.m., Monday, June 27, from Lake Lanier.

Ding, 29, of Atlanta, went overboard about 2 p.m., Saturday, June 18, around Holiday Marina. 

According to Richard Pickering of Lake Lanier Recovery Divers, a team of eight team members and five divers was instrumental in the recovery process. 

Lake Lanier Recovery Divers began search efforts on Friday, June 24, with a forensic dog team led by Michel Galliot of South Carolina to assist in locating the body.

Pickering said the body was recovered from a depth of 72 feet below the surface. The dogs were instrumental in pinpointing the area where Ding was found.


On Thursday, June 23, Sgt. Jason Roberson said Ding had rented a pontoon boat with some friends and jumped in the water to retrieve a hat that had been blown overboard by the wind, which reached speeds of 20-25 mph that day. That made the water very choppy, with waves as tall as 2.5 feet. 

“Just not good conditions to be trying to swim,” he said, even though Ding did know how to swim, he added.  

Ding’s drowning was the first of four drownings in the past week alone.

Officials urge boaters to wear a life jacket while on the water.

The Gainesville Times contributed to this report.