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Father, 6-year-old son drown at popular North Georgia waterfall

An outing at a popular North Georgia swimming spot turned tragic Tuesday when a father and his 6-year-old son drowned, according to police. 

Just before 2 p.m., police and firefighters were called to Dicks Creek Falls in the Chattahoochee National Forest, Lt. Chris Pfrogner with the Lumpkin County Sheriff’s Office said.

ALSO: Recent drownings a reminder of safety lessons

MORE: Safety tips and a primer on Georgia's boating laws

“When the father and son went off the rocks and into the water, they had trouble staying above the water,” Pfrogner told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 

The river in the area is fairly small and shallow, Pfrogner said. But it can be deceiving to swimmers because of the current and undertows, he said. 

Divers found the bodies of 38-year-old Joshua Kistler and his son, Jaxon, later Tuesday. The two lived in Dahlonega.

The Department of Natural Resources and U.S. Forestry investigators assisted Lumpkin deputies, along with the  Hall and Forsyth county sheriff’s offices. No foul play is suspected, Pfrogner said. 

“It’s just a terrible accident,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims’ family.”

Others witnessed the father and son go under the water, but were not close enough to help, the Sheriff’s Office said. 

“It’s going to affect pretty much the whole community,” Cliff Hooker, a family friend, told Channel 2 Action News. “I mean, everybody in that family is heartbroken,” he said.

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A Dahlonega Sheriff says the man's son was having trouble swimming when he jumped in and tried to save him.

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