As temperatures climb, throngs of people flock to Lake Lanier, 38,000 acres of refreshing blue waters and picturesque scenery.
While a day on the water can be a fun way for many to celebrate summer, swimming and boating come with dangers, too.
The risk of drowning rises with the warmer weather.
Less than two weeks ago, Corey Brown, 28, jumped off a pontoon boat on the lake to save a friend struggling in the water. Instead, currents swept Brown under the water, prompting a days-long search that ended tragically.
Authorities recovered Brown’s body a few days later near Vann’s Tavern Park in Forsyth County.
Brown’s fiancée, Jasmine Smith, said Brown was a good swimmer, and they had hoped to find him on the shore.
“If I was there to know that he had been outside all day, swimming all day, I knew he would automatically be tired,” Smith told Channel 2 Action News. “I would have told him before you do anything — try to save anybody — just make sure you have a life jacket.”
Brown was the ninth water-related death at Lake Lanier this year, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. The deaths include seven drownings and two boating fatalities, which can also be a drowning but are counted separately when a person enters from the water from a vessel in motion.
Other recent drownings at Lake Lanier include two over Memorial Day weekend: One man drowned after his personal watercraft overturned on Lake Lanier, and another man drowned near a boat dock. Last year, Lake Lanier saw 11 water-related deaths including eight drownings and three boating-related fatalities. And the first half of this year has already surpassed the deadly toll of 2017 when there were seven water-related deaths including five drownings.