Authorities were at Lake Lanier on Saturday searching for a 44-year-old drowning victim who has been missing since just after midnight Friday, according to Hall County and state Department of Natural Resources officials.
Hall police spokesman Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks said a search and recovery dive team searched for the man near Lake Lanier Islands in water ranging from 70 to 140 feet deep.
"At this time the case is being investigated as an accidental drowning," Wilbanks said. "The name of the victim is being withheld pending next-of-kin notifications."
DNR spokesman Sgt. Mike Burgamy, however, told Channel 2 Action News the victim was Jeffrey Nause, who jumped into the water from a sailboat around 12:30 a.m. near a Lake Lanier Islands recreational area. He was among two couples at the time of the incident, and alcohol may have been a contributing factor, the DNR said.
Authorities said at some point the subject became distressed, went under and did not resurface.
The drowning would be the latest in what as been a deadly summer at North Georgia's largest lakes.
On Aug. 6, the DNR said Spencer Obe Dye, 25, of Gainesville drowned while swimming at Bolding Mill Park on Lake Lanier. Another 25-year-old, Mary Elizabeth Davidson of Buford, drowned at the lake on Aug. 3.
Rodrigo Bernal Trejo, 44, of Cumming died July 26 after disappearing in a part of Lanier near a picnic area at West Bank Park off Buford Dam Road. His body was found about 50 feet off shore in 11 feet of water the same afternoon by Forsyth County rescue crews.
A month earlier, Ciro Jimenez Beltron, 37, drowned on June 25 following a baptism ceremony at the lake. Authorities believe Beltron, who was with a church group, slipped in an area where the lake drops off from 3 feet to 13 feet. His body was found two days later.
All of the deaths, however, have not been at Lanier. On July 29, Thomas King, 55, of Marietta drowned after disappearing while using a paddle board on Lake Acworth. Authorities said King was not wearing a life preserver when he was pulled from the water.
A dam separates Lake Acworth from the larger Lake Allatoona, where two other people had drowned since late May, according to the DNR.
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