REPORT: 24-Year-Old Jumps Into Georgia Lake, Dies By Electrocution As Family Scrambles To Help

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Kate Hirzel Contributor
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Thomas Shepard Milner, 24, was reportedly electrocuted and lost his life after jumping into a Georgia lake from his family’s dock Thursday evening.

Milner was suddenly electrocuted as he entered Lake Lanier, prompting a family friend to rush to his aid with a ladder while neighbors boarded a boat to help with the rescue, Atlanta News First (ANF) reported. One of the neighbors who jumped into the water to pull Milner out also reported experiencing an electric shock upon entry. They quickly swam back to shore to disable the power box near the dock before attempting another rescue, the outlet continued, citing investigators.

Despite the administration of CPR by Milner’s uncle and first responders’ efforts, emergency medical crews were unable to save Milner, and he succumbed to his injuries at Northside Forsyth Hospital one day later, according to ANF.

“We have owned our lake property for 60+ years. He grew up at the lake and was a strong swimmer and loved everything water,” Milner’s mother, Martha, said in a statement to the outlet. “Our dock was less than 3 years old and was outfitted with electricity by a licensed electrician.” (RELATED: Rushing Water Sweeps Away Four Boys Near Dam During Birthday Fishing Trip, Two Die)

It remains unclear why the water was charged with an electric current, the outlet reported. 

Lake Lanier has issued an electric shock drowning safety announcement in the past. Electric shock drowning is caused when a person is exposed to a “low level alternating current … while immersed in freshwater,” according to the announcement. The force of the current can induce skeletal muscular paralysis, which leaves the individual unable to rescue themselves or swim. Electric shock drowning is more fatal in freshwater due to its lower conductivity compared to salt water, according to the announcement.

In response to safety concerns and the number of reported drownings in the lake, a May announcement by a waterpark on Lake Lanier stated that swimming was no longer permitted.