Search crews are combing through Lake Lanier with special equipment as they look for a missing 13-year-old boy killed in a boating accident. They say the search, now in its third day, is now a recovery effort.
Dive crews from Cobb County join crews from the DNR and Hall County in the effort They have been searching for the teen since Tuesday.
Griffin Prince went missing after the boat he and his family were riding on was hit by another boat late Monday night. Griffin's 9-year-old brother, Jake Prince, was killed in the accident. Three other people onboard the pontoon boat were also injured.
According to Georgia Department of Natural Resources officials, the boys' father, Michael Prince, was driving a pontoon boat carrying 12 other people when they were hit by another boat. The accident happened around 10:30 p.m. in Shoal Creek. DNR officials say the boat that hit them was speeding, and the driver -- 44-year-old Paul Bennett of Cumming -- has been arrested and charged with boating under the influence.
"They are doing the best they can. They're crushed, obviously, as we all are," said Prince, Sr.
DNR boats participating in the search are using side scan sonar and potential sightings are then relayed to the dive team. Despite their efforts, Griffin still hasn't been located.
"Divers are in anywhere from 60 to as deep as 129 feet. Water temperature is in the 40s below the thermocline. Visibility is near zero at reasonable depths and then zero visibility at greater depths," said Hall County Sheriff's Office Sgt. Stephen Wilbanks.
Authorities say the terrible conditions in the lake have turned the search into a marathon.
Investigators say they have an approximate location where the accident occurred. They have twice expanded the search area for the missing teen.
The DNR's incident reconstruction team is going over the physical evidence from both of the boats involved, trying to determine exactly what happened. Bennett, who has been charged with boating under the influence, could face more charges.
"We probably will not make any other charges until the incident report is complete and the investigation is complete," said Major Stephen Adams of the DNR.
Authorities say they will continue to search for Griffin Prince for as long as they can. Officials say they will not search the lake on the weekend because of large crowds, but will resume the search on Monday.
The community at Windsor will hold a candlelight vigil Sunday night at its clubhouse in Buford as a show of support for the Prince family.
A memorial fund has been set up for Jake and Griffin Prince at Wells Fargo Bank. Donations are being accepted at any Wells Fargo location under the account number 7581668121.
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