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26-year-old drowns at Lake Lanier

BUFORD - The Fourth of July was not without tragedy, according to a Department of National Resources spokesman.

A 26-year-old man from Roswell drowned at Lake Lanier on Wednesday afternoon while swimming in an area of the lake at Buford Dam Park, said Ben Johnson, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman.

The man's name was not being released as of press time Wednesday. Johnson said authorities were waiting until the man's family was notified before releasing his name.

"Witnesses said he was swimming just outside the designated swimming area (in a cove) when he apparently went beneath the surface," Johnson said. "He was pronounced dead at Northside Hospital in Forsyth at about 4:30 p.m."

Friends were with the man, attempting to get him to the beach when they were met by a Gwinnett County Fire Department Swiftwater Rescue Team in a boat, said Fire Department spokesman Lt. Thomas Rutledge.

"Firefighters removed the victim from the water at the beach area and initiated advanced life-support efforts," Rutledge said.

Johnson said it is not yet known what caused the man to go under the water.

"It's really hard to speculate and for whatever reason, he went below the surface," Johnson said. "Oftentimes fatigue plays a role. It's always advisable to have some sort of flotation device."

Johnson said alcohol does not appear to be a factor in the drowning.

"DNR officers said traffic was very heavy on the lake for the holiday and the water was about 5 feet below full pool, but it's unknown exactly how deep it was where the gentleman was swimming," Johnson said.