54-year-old man reportedly drowns in Little River near Lake Allatoona Thursday morning

A 54-year-old man is dead after an incident near the falls in the Little River near Lake Allatoona. 

According to officials, game wardens and Cherokee County Fire and Rescue units responded to the Little River Boat Ramp on Lake Allatoona around 9:45 a.m. July 20.

Witnesses stated that a man was swimming out to his dog in the water near the falls when he went under.

The Cherokee County dive team quickly located the man in 15 feet of water, according to officials. He was transported to Kennestone Hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

The man has been identified as Jackie Merrell of Ellijay.

The official cause of death has not been released. At this time, the death is being labeled as a possible drowning.