Buford Dam  aerial 2 file photo

Buford Dam at Lake Lanier is seen in this 2009 aerial file photo. A Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokesman said a Louisville, Ky., man drowned while paddle boarding near the dam and West Bank Park, which can be seen in the distance of this photo.

A man from Louisville, Kentucky. drowned as he was paddle boarding near Buford Dam on Lake Lanier on Friday afternoon.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources spokesman Mark McKinnon said Jeffrey McElfresh, 55, was paddle boarding without a life jacket. He had been keeping a pool noodle with him, but it had begun to float away from him.

“He attempted to retrieve it, became tired and went under,” McKinnon said. “He reappeared shortly after, went under a second time, and never resurfaced.”

Georgia game wardens were called to West Bank Park, which is near the dam on the Forsyth County side of the lake, shortly after 4:30 p.m. about a possible drowning.

McKinnon said McElfresh was located shortly thereafter and Hall County Fire Service divers recovered his body.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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