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Winder man drowns in Lake Lanier

FLOWERY BRANCH - An 18-year-old Winder man drowned Sunday evening in Lake Lanier near Old Federal Campground, authorities said.

The man, whose name has not been released, and three other people were floating on a piece of plastic foam in the lake when they jumped off and began to swim to shore, said Cpl. Jason Roberson of the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Another member of the group noticed the 18-year-old was in distress and tried to save him, but the Winder man went underwater and did not resurface. The second man had to be rescued by passers-by on a pontoon boat, Roberson said.

The Hall County Fire Department's Dive Team immediately attempted to rescue the man and searched for more than an hour for the victim, according to a news release. The Hall County Sheriff's Office Dive Team then took over the search efforts and recovered the man's body about 7:20 p.m.

His body was found about 43 yards from shore in about 28 feet of water, the news release stated.

The drowning appeared to be accidental, but the Sheriff's Office is investigating the incident.