3 drown in deadly day at Lake Lanier - CBS46 News

3 drown in deadly day at Lake Lanier

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Lake Lanier Lake Lanier
HALL COUNTY, GA (CBS46) -

Rick Gray, his wife Laura and their three children enjoy boating on Lake Lanier.

"Our weekend getaway," said Laura Gray.

But this weekend turned deadly. The Department of Natural Resources is investigating the death of a 51-year-old man and his 15-year-old son.

"We're heading to Three Sisters Islands," said Rick Gray.

The father and son drowned in an area of the lake with which the Grays are familiar.

"It's just horrible! Everybody is here to have a good time, and you never think about that stuff happening," Gray said.

According to a spokesman for the DNR, that father and his son parked their boat at one of islands. They were on the beach when the teenager went into the lake to get a ball. He started having problems, so his father jumped in and tried to save him.

"It's heartbreaking. I think people get out here and underestimate how dangerous it can be. It's heartbreaking," said Laura Gray.

A third drowning happened only a few hours after the first two. According the Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle, some young adults were on the beach in Old Federal Park.

They tried to walk from the beach to an island about 100 yards from the shore. The young man, in his early 20s, encountered some deep water but could not swim.

"His brother immediately jumped in after him, took on some water himself, but he was unsuccessful," said Cagle.

It happened right off the shore were several children were playing on the beach and in the water.

Corey Biggers was nearby.

"We were noodling for catfish," said Biggers.

Biggers and his buddy were nearby catching catfish with their bare hands.

They were wrestling a 20-pound fish when they saw the commotion.

"We were at Old Federal State Park when we saw a lot of boating police, we saw a dive unit come out, a lot of sheriffs deputies and cops," said Biggers.

Hall County's Marine Rescue Unit recovered the body but could not save the man because he was under water for close to an hour.

The fire marshal has advice for those planning a trip to the lake this summer: "If you can't swim, wear a life jacket. We never pull a body out of this water with a life jacket on."

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