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Body of boy pulled from reservoir with 'no swimming' sign in Hall County

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The body of a teenage boy was pulled from a Hall County reservoir Thursday afternoon. But rescue workers said he and the other teens who were with him should not have been swimming in the water.

“There are signs that list the rules and one of the rule was “no swimming,’ Hall County Fire Rescue Chief David Kimbrell said.

The 16-year-old boy was identified late Thursday as Juan Carlos Salazar. He lived in the area along with the other teenage boys who accompanied him to the Cedar Creek Reservoir to celebrate the end of the school year and half a day of school, officials said.

"They had attempted to swim to a 'over-flow' dock type drain in the water approximately 300 feet from shore," the Hall County Sheriff's Office spokesman Deputy John Marshall said. "The swimmers were about 100 feet from shore when Salazar began having problems and submerged."

The teen was reported missing around 1:41 p.m., and was found dead about an hour later, Kimbrell said. His body was found about 100 feet from shore in 28 to 30 feet-deep water, the chief said.

Divers from the fire department and the Hall County Sheriff’s Office searched for about 20 minutes to find the boy, authorities said. They pulled out his body at 2:48 p.m., Kimbrell said.

Hall County Fire Marshal Scott Cagle told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Cagle that the teen tried to swim out to a deeper area in the 230-acre lake water with his friends.

“He became distressed and went under,” Kimbrell said. The reservoir is 80 to 100 feet at its deepest point, he said.

The small lake has been in Hall’s northeast corner for about four years, and has a dam that is currently inoperative.

Kimbrell, who has been with the fire department for 25 years, said this is the first time he recalls a drowning in the reservoir, the AJC reported.

It is unclear whether charges will be filed against the other teens for disobeying the posted sign.

Sheriff’s deputies investigating the death are questioning the other boys, fire officials said.

This is the fifth drowning in Hall County since the beginning of spring, according to media reports.