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Search for Missing Man Scaled Back

Jeffrey Nause was reported missing from a sailboat on Lake Lanier on Aug. 18.

The search for a man who is missing and presumed drowned in Lake Lanier has been scaled back.

Jeffrey Nause was reported missing shortly after midnight on Aug. 18. He was on a sailboat on Lake Lanier when he jumped into the water. After days of searching, the Hall County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia Department of Natural Resources announced the resources devoted to the search are being reduced.

Dive operations have been put on standby, but surface and sonar searches will continue. Divers will be available to investigate should the sonar and surface searches produce a target of interest, according to a press release from the Hall County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO). The operation will be reassessed prior to Monday.

HCSO divers, cadaver dogs and aviation assets have been used in the search, which officials say has covered more than 20 square miles with water depths ranging from 70-130 feet. Cold water temperatures at depth and heavy underwater timber have complicated the search effort, officials added.

“Compounding the physical difficulties of the search are the facts that the incident occurred during the hours of darkness, the vessel was moving at the time, and there was no GPS equipment on board to mark an exact location,” said Hall County Sheriff’s Office public information officer Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks in a released statement.

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 have participated in the search.

The incident remains under investigation.

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