Body of missing kayaker found in Chattahoochee River

The body of a missing kayaker has been found in the Chattahoochee River.

Friends of 41-year-old David Southin said on social media that his body was recovered last night, after he went fishing on the Chattahoochee in a red kayak Monday.

The Gwinnett County Fire Swift Water Team located and recovered Southin’s body late yesterday afternoon. The body was turned over to the Fulton County Medical Examiner’s Office. The cause of the incident is under investigation and that investigation will likely take a few weeks, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

Southin lived in Lawrenceville. 

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Gwinnett County Firefighters responded at 1:23 a.m. to the report of the missing kayaker. Forsyth County’s Swiftwater team was already in the water and had located the kayak but requested assistance with the possible jurisdiction being in Gwinnett County due to the location of the kayak.

Gwinnett’s Swiftwater 14 made entrance into the water at the McFinnis Ferry boat ramp. Air 1 responded to the request for assistance but was unable to see any victims while using their infrared and their spotlight was not in operation. 

After several unsuccessful attempts to retrieve the rope attached to the kayak, operations were moved to the banks. The search was stopped once fog conditions created low visibility and hindered further travel. At 3:30 a.m., crews made the decision to restart the search during daylight hours.

At 7:17 a.m. Tuesday, Gwinnett Swiftwater Rescue Technicians headed back to the Chattahoochee River and reentered the water at about 8:30 a.m. with assistance from Air 1, Johns Creek Fire Department, Forsyth County’s Dive Team, US National Park Service, Georgia Department of National Resources, Forsyth County’s Sherriff Office, and Suwanee Police Department.

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