1 dead after boats collide on Lake Lanier

BUFORD — One person was killed and three others were injured after a boating collision on Lake Lanier early Sunday morning.

Gwinnett Fire Department spokesman Tommy Rutledge said a married couple reported they were crossing the lake in a 21-foot ski boat when they struck an unknown object in the water. He said they realized that their boat was damaged and was taking on water and swam for shore to get help.

The man and woman were transported to a nearby hospital for evaluation of minor injuries.

Rutledge said the search immediately began for a second vessel and anyone who may be in distress in the water.

He said firefighters initially thought that the second boat involved may have sunk in the dark waters. Rescue Boats from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, 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, he said.

The body of an adult male was found in the water within the first 30 minutes of the search, Rutledge said.

Authorities were able to locate the second boat around 5 a.m., in the Shoal Creek area of the lake near East Bank Park, he said. An adult female was found aboard the damaged vessel and was transported to a nearby hospital in serious condition.

The state Department of Natural Resources is interviewing witnesses and working to gather physical evidence. The department also has members of its critical incident reconstruction team trying to piece together what happened.

No names have been released at this point.

Return to www.gwinnettdailypost.com for updates.