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Posted: Wednesday, August 22nd 2012 at 5:48pm

Search for Lanier drowning victim to be scaled back

By Katie Crumley Access Insider
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GAINESVILLE - The resources devoted to the search for a Cobb County man presumed drowned near Lake Lanier Islands will be scaled back beginning Thursday.

"Surface and sonar searches will continue on Thursday and Friday, but dive operations will be on stand-by pending the results of those searches," said Hall County Sheriff's Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.

Wilbanks said divers will still be in the area conducting training and certification updates for the next two days to assist if necessary in the search for 44-year-old Jeffrey Nause, who was reported missing after jumping off a moving sailboat just after midnight Saturday.

In addition, Wilbanks said dive operations will be suspended for the weekend due to heavy boat traffic, but again, he said surface and sonar searches will continue through Sunday and the operation will be reassessed before the start of another work week.

"The search area covered in excess of 20 square acres, with depths ranging from 70 to 130 feet and water temperatures of 42 degrees at depth," he said.

Wilbanks said heavy underwater timber, the fact that the incident happened at night on a moving vessel and that there was no GPS equipment on board to mark where Nause went into the lake has complicated their search.

Georgia Department of Natural Resources Sgt. Mike Burgamy said Nause jumped from a moving sailboat and plunged into the lake early Saturday, about 30 minutes after midnight.

He said witnesses say Nause became distressed and went underwater.

Agencies involved in the search include the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (law enforcement and aviation divisions), U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla 29, Hall County Fire Services, Dawson County EMS (cadaver dogs), and Forsyth County Fire Services.

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Gainesville, GA 30501
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