CANTON — The body of a 17-year-old teen who apparently drowned Wednesday afternoon at the Hickory Log Reservoir was recovered following several hours of a search and rescue effort by police and firefighter dive teams.
The name of the young man was withheld at the request of the family.
The tragedy happened during spring break for local schools and just three weeks after the 414-acre Hickory Log Creek Reservoir off Bluffs Parkway opened its waters to the public.
The victim’s body was located submerged in the lake at about 5 p.m. by divers, police said in a news release.
Canton Police were dispatched to the reservoir at 1:45 p.m. after a friend of the boy called 911 to report the incident, Pacer Cordry, a spokesman for the Canton Police Department, said near the scene off Bluffs Parkway.
The 911 caller, who was with the teen when he went missing, told dispatchers that he and his friend had been swimming when his friend began to struggle in the water, Cordry said.
Canton Marine Patrol and the Cherokee County Fire Department Dive team both put boats in the water to aid in the search, Cordry said in the release. The Georgia Department of Natural Resources was also contacted to assist in the search.
Rescue workers first found the missing swimmer’s friend, and by then, he too was in distress and needed medical assistance — though Cordry couldn’t say why — but he was treated and had since been aiding workers in the search, Cordry said.
Dive team members were told that the possible drowning victim went under about 30 feet from the bank, Tim Cavender, spokesperson for Cherokee Fire Services, said.
Cherokee County Assistant Fire Chief Eddie Robinson said the area where the divers were searching was between 10 and 20 feet deep. He also said that the water temperature was around 55 degrees.
At its deepest point in the area of the lake where the swimmer was believed to have gone under, the water reaches about 200 feet deep, Cordry said.
About 2:30 p.m., a woman identifying herself as the mother of the missing teen arrived on the scene and was distraught as a Canton police detective explained the situation.
When reminded of the tearful scene a few hours later, Cordry said such cases are difficult to deal with.
“It’s tough,” he said. “I’m pretty sure it’s a local family and he’s got a sister about the same age as him.”