Child dies, father in critical condition after being pulled from Lake Lanier

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A father and his son were rushed to the hospital last week after a near-drowning incident at Lake Lanier. Fire officials said Thursday that the boy has died. 

The 30-year-old father, Libao, and 9-year-old son, Ethan Chen, were spending the day at Margaritaville at Lanier Islands on July 11. Around 2:50 p.m., Hall County Fire Services said the father noticed his son had not resurfaced and went into the lake to find him. Officials said Libao also went underwater.

A lifeguard located the boy and started first aid. Libao was also located by a lifeguard and pulled from the water.

Both were transported to Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville. Libao was listed in critical condition, Ethan was later taken to flown to Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in critical condition before ultimately passing away.

The Georgia Department of Natural Resources is assisting in investigating the incident.

Emergency officials remind swimmers to “alert, reach, throw, row, go.” Alert lifeguards to a situation if they are on duty, if not, try reach for the victim from a strong foothold, or throw them a rope or a floatation device. If it’s in a lake, rowing out to them to be able to reach and pull them aboard is an option. The last resort should be to go to a victim, but go with a floatation device.

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