Man who drowned trying to save friend is 9th death at Lake Lanier this year

FORSYTH COUNTY, Ga. — For the first time, Channel 2 Action News is hearing from the family of a man who drowned in Lake Lanier trying to save someone's life.

Corey Brown was on a pontoon boat with a group celebrating someone's birthday Friday when he jumped in the water to help a friend who was struggling.

Brown never resurfaced and officials launched a dayslong search for the 28-year-old. Crews with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources recovered Brown's body Monday.

Officials said there have been nine deaths on Lake Lanier since January.

Deborah Mack told Channel 2's Lauren Pozen her oldest son Corey was one of a kind. She didn't know that when he came over Friday, it would be the last time she saw him alive.

"We laughed for about a good 30 or 40 minutes. He said he had a boat party to go to and he left. That was the last time I spoke with him," Mack said.


Pozen also spoke with Brown's fiance Jasmine Smith, who told her the last few days have been a nightmare.

Smith said a friend called her and told her that Brown was in trouble. For the next four days, search crews used sonar divers and GPS to try and find him.

"He just went under and he was trying to save somebody. But he didn't have a life jacket on. But he was a great swimmer," Smith said.

Search crews found his body in 26 feet of water near Vanns Tavern Park. Smith told Pozen that Brown was in such a rush to help someone else and forgot about his own safety.

“I would have told him before you do anything, try to save anybody, make sure you have a life jacket. But it was so much going on that his first instinct was to save somebody," she said.