911 tapes from Lake Lanier boating crash released

9:13 AM, Jun 23, 2012   |    comments
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GAINESVILLE, Ga. -- Investigators have released the 911 tapes from Monday night's boating collision on Lake Lanier that left two brothers from Buford dead and a man charged with boating under the influence.

The tapes reveal a tragedy that no family should have to go through.

But they also show how the community of boaters around Lanier came together to help the family and get rescue personnel on the scene, which was no easy feat.

The accident took place in pitch black darkness, and with no moon and few lights, rescuers were literally guided in by screams for help over the water, some of which could be heard on the calls to 911.

"I see them out here, but they're getting in the water trying to help. But they're just hysterical and understandably so. They're hysterical."

It took 911 dispatchers from at least two counties several minutes to put together exactly what had happened.

"We have two down. They think it's related."
"There's a lot of screaming 'help, help!"
"Okay, but I don't even know what you're referring to ma'am. I don't even know if you're in my county. You could be in Forsyth County. I'm trying to find you on our map."
"Can you see a buoy marker where you're at?"
"No, it's very dark."

And as operators tried to pinpoint the location to launch search and rescue boats, the calls continued to come in.

"And it's a boat wreck?"
"Yes, they're apparently in the water, and they cannot swim; there's a lot of screaming. They're saying he doesn't have a life jacket. And they're screaming 'call 911.'"

The gravity of the situation soon became painfully clear.

"We've had two confirmed fatalities. One body is missing, and one's a confirmed fatality."

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