Teen drowns during hunting for ducks near Georgia/NC border


An 18-year-old man drowned while duck hunting along the Georgia-North Carolina border.

On Saturday, November 18, 911 dispatchers in Clay County, North Carolina received a 911 call reporting a drowning in a rural portion of Lake Chatuge.

The region is inaccessible by car and is located just north of the Georgia state boundary, offshore from government land.

A Clay County Sheriff’s Office sergeant and a volunteer launched a boat to the drowning site.

Clay County Sheriff Mark Buchanan and another volunteer arrived by boat around 11:20 a.m.

Trenton Daniel Johnson, 18, of Ellijay, was duck hunting with Carson Bentley, also of Ellijay, when he was killed.

Bentley told deputies that he and Johnson were in the boat after downing a duck, and he started the boat motor.

When Bentley looked up, he saw Johnson fall headfirst into the sea. Bentley stated that he jumped into the water and attempted to put a life jacket on Johnson but was unsuccessful.

Johnson’s boots were hung approximately four feet below the surface of the water, and the sheriff and sergeant recovered his body.

Johnson perished in water between 10 and 12 feet deep and 40 to 50 feet from the shoreline.

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office advises anyone boating to always wear a life jacket, especially now that the water is cold and swimming is difficult.

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