Gainesville man drowns in Lake Lanier

A 61-year-old Gainesville man drowned Friday evening near his Lake Lanier boat dock in, authorities said.

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A 61-year-old Gainesville man drowned Friday evening near his Lake Lanier boat dock in, authorities said.

A Gainesville man drowned Friday evening near a boat dock on Lake Lanier, authorities said.

A family member discovered the body of 61-year-old Michael Thompson in the water near his dock about midnight, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

The dock is located near a home on Pine Forest Road, deputies said.

Police said there were no obvious signs of trauma and authorities are investigating the death as an accidental drowning.

Thompson’s death appears to be Georgia’s first lake-related fatality of the Memorial Day weekend.

To keep swimmers and boaters safe, Hall deputies are cautioning lake-goers to wear life their jackets and not swim alone.

“Don’t swim alone and be careful about overestimating your swimming ability, said Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks. “Many people have drowned trying to swim to an island or the other side of a cove, only to discover that it was too far for their abilities.”

He also said people should familiarize themselves with Georgia’s boating laws ahead of the busy weekend and not swim or operate watercraft while under the influence.

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