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Man who died jumping into US lake which has claimed lives of nearly 700 people 'possibly electrocuted'

Man who died jumping into US lake which has claimed lives of nearly 700 people 'possibly electrocuted'

Thomas Milner was described as a strong swimmer who 'loved everything water'

A 24-year-old man who has died may have been electrocuted when he jumped into a lake in Georgia, which has claimed the lives of at least 700 people.

Thomas Shepard Milner, from Forsyth County, GA, had been on his family's dock near Dove Trail on Thursday (27 July) when he jumped into the massive reservoir.

Built in the 1950s, Lake Lanier is home to a number of designated swim areas, but it has developed an unnerving reputation over the years thanks to hundreds of deaths there.

Lake Lanier has claimed hundreds of lives.

A handful of towns were flooded to create the reservoir, and the sunken buildings and trees form hazards which can be deadly while swimming. Since it was created, some 700 people have died in Lake Lanier.

Milner passed away on Friday, one day after he jumped into the water on Thursday afternoon.

According to Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Stacie Miller, Milner screamed for help just moments after hitting the water, prompting a family friend to try and use a ladder to rescue him.

Neighbors took a boat into the water and one man jumped in to save Milner, but when he did he felt a 'burning sensation that he recognized as an electric shock'.

Realising what was happening, the neighbor swam to shore to turn off a power box which supplied electricity to the dock to operate the boat lift.

The man then jumped back into the water and managed to pull Milner onto the dock, where he was given CPR by his uncle.

Lake Lanier is home to multiple swimming spots.
Getty Stock Photo

Medics arrived at the scene and Milner was transported to Northside Forsyth Hospital, but he sadly died of his injuries the following day.

Milner’s mother, Martha Milner, described her son as gentle, kind and someone who loved the lake as she spoke after his death with Atlanta News First.

Martha said the family had owned the lake property for more than 60 years, and that Milner was a 'strong swimmer and loved everything water'.

"Our dock was less than 3 years old and was outfitted with electricity by a licensed electrician," she continued, adding that Milner often went by his middle name, Shepard.

"Shepard did not use drugs, rarely drank. Shepard loved the lake," she said. "Most every week he would spend his day off riding the jet ski, swimming or just snoozing on the dock to some music."

The sheriff’s office said the death remains under investigation, but if the electrical current was the reason for Milner's death, it would not have been the first instance of such an issue.

In 2019, the Lakeside on Lanier newspaper reported that four out of 10 private docks had electrical current leaking into the water.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock photo

Topics: Health, US News, Weird, Travel