Boy drowns in icy lake

A 13-year-old North Georgia boy died Thursday afternoon after falling through ice into a partially frozen lake.

Joseph Attoh was with four other boys playing on a private lake off Orchard Way near Calhoun, Gordon County coroner Heath Derryberry said. Several of the boys fell into the icy water and were able to get out, but Joseph did not, Derryberry said.

Emergency responders were called to the lake shortly before 2 p.m., using vehicles with four-wheel drive to reach the lake, Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston said.

Deputies and firefighters entered the icy water on foot in search of the boy, Ralston said. Additional emergency responders used boats to search the lake.

Rescuers pulled the boy out about 40 minutes after the search began, Ralston said. He was taken to Gordon hospital, but did not survive.

“Along with fire and rescue personnel, several of my deputies did not hesitate to plunge into the freezing water to search for the victim, in total disregard for their own safety,” Ralston said in an emailed statement. “Unfortunately, a life was lost. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.”

Investigators believe Joseph may have been in the cold water at least 50 minutes, Derryberry said.

Joseph attended Sonoraville Middle School, according to his Facebook page.