BUFORD -- Fourteen-year-old Trevor Jones drowned in Lake Lanier over the weekend, authorities finding his body some 18 hours after a two-boat collision threw him into the water.
A freshman at Buford High School, Jones was thrown from his boat when it collided with another at about 7 p.m. Saturday near Toto Creek Park in Dawsonville, Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman Melissa Cummings said. His body was located at about 1 p.m. Sunday.
By Monday afternoon, almost 3,000 people were part of a Facebook group remembering him.
"I miss seeing your sweet little smile, that laugh that you can notice anywhere," one posted. "I just wish I could reach up and grab your hand and bring you back home."
Wrote another: "I miss you buddy, I'll talk to you tonight before bed."
A total of 15 people were on the boats that collided, Cummings said, including one 13-year-old girl who was transported to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta by helicopter. Charges may be filed in the incident, which remains under investigation.
Buford principal Dr. Banks Bitterman said Monday that it had already been "a tough week."
"The school is focusing on healing right now," he said.
Jones' death came less than a week before the start of Labor Day weekend, one of the most popular boating holidays of the year.
DNR offered several safety tips for boaters:
Remember the 100-foot law. Boat operators are prohibited from driving any vessel at speeds greater than idle speed within 100 feet of vessels anchored or adrift outside of normal traffic channels, or within 100 feet of any dock, wharf, pier or public shoreline.
Wear a life jacket. None out of 10 drowning victims were not wearing life jackets. Children under 10 are required by law to wear one on a moving boat.
Do not drink and operate a boat. Half of all boating fatalities involve alcohol, which can affect people more rapidly on the water.
Do not overload your boat with people or equipment. Check the boat's maximum weight and passenger capacities.
For more information and safety tips, visit www.goboatgeorgia.com.
According to DNR information last updated on Aug. 15, Lake Lanier was by far the most incident-prone "major" lake in Georgia. A total of 31 boating incidents have occurred there since January, making Lanier one of only two in double-digits and ranking it well above Lake Hartwell, which had the second most with 12.
Not including Jones' death, DNR reported four boating-related fatalities on Lanier this year. Only two of Georgia's remaining seven major lakes had any.
-- Staff writer Frank Reddy contributed to this story