Student home from college drowns in Lake Lanier

A 21-year-old man who was home from college over Labor Day weekend drowned Friday evening in Lake Lanier, a Gwinnett County Fire and Emergency Services spokesman said.

The body of Bailey Dean O’Shields, who is from the Suwanee area, was found about 8:26 p.m. about 30 to 40 feet from the boat ramp in Buford, spokesman Tommy Rutledge said. Shields’ identity was provided by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, which helped with the search.

 About 6:52 p.m., crews from Gwinnett and Hall counties responded to the 1300 block of Buford Dam Road, Rutledge said. A Jet Ski was reported circling in the lake with no operator. It was about 100 feet from the boat ramp.

The victim’s mother told authorities her son, who attended college in Florida, went to the lake in the evening to ride the Jet Ski, and that was the last time she saw him.

“It is unknown whether the man experienced a medical emergency as he was attempting to dock the Jet Ski,” Rutledge said.

When his body was found, the man, who was not identified, was not wearing a life jacket, Rutledge said. His life jacket and personal items were found with the Jet Ski.

The DNR and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers helped in the search.

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