One man was killed and a woman was reported in serious condition after Gwinnett Fire and Emergency Services and other agencies responded to a boating accident on Lake Lanier early Sunday.
The apparent two-boat collision is believed to have occurred in the dark approximately 200 yards from the face of the dam back toward Lower Overlook Park inside Gwinnett County. There were two other victims from another boat, reports indicate.
Capt. Tommy Rutledge of Gwinnett Fire/EMS said authorities received a 911 call from a passing motorist on Buford Dam Road.
According to authorities, two of the victims (man and wife) in their 30s were crossing the lake in a 21-foot ski boat when they reportedly struck an unknown object in the water. The couple realized that their boat was damaged and was taking on water, and they decided to swim for shore to get help.
The couple climbed a bank to nearby Buford Dam Road and flagged down a passing motorist. According to responders, the two were wearing life jackets when firefighters arrived. The man and woman were transported to a nearby hospital by Forsyth County for evaluation of minor injuries.
Then, the search immediately began for the second vessel and anyone who might have been in distress in the water. Rescue boats from DNR, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and Forsyth Fire were deployed. Assistance was also requested for air support provided by the Gwinnett Police Aviation Unit. The body of an adult male was found in the water within the first 30 minutes of the search.
The identity of the deceased man has not been released. The body has been turned over to the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner for positive identification and cause of death determination.
Authorities located the second boat around 5 a.m. Sunday in the Shoal Creek area of the lake near East Bank Park. An adult female was found aboard the damaged vessel. She is being transported to a nearby hospital (emergency status) in serious condition, authorities said.
The scene has been turned over to DNR Officers and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.