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Body found in boat collision on Lake Lanier
six mile creek1
The collision reportedly happened in the area of Six-Mile-Creek on Lake Lanier.

Law enforcement officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources located and retrieved the body of 34-year-old Yakov Shteyman near north Forsyth's Six Mile Creek around 7:30 Tuesday night, according to several officials familiar with the investigation.

Shteyman went missing around 8:30 p.m. Monday, April 10 after his Jet Ski collided with a bass boat near Charleston Park on Lake Lanier, which is located almost directly across from Six Mile Creek.

While Forsyth officials initially responded Monday, the DNR's CIRT unit took over the investigation beginning mid-morning Tuesday, ultimately finding the man in about 65 feet of water.

Maj. Stephen Adams with the DNR's special operations division said though Shteyman's body has been found, the DNR will keep investigating his death.

He also stressed the importance of wearing a lifejacket.

"The investigation takes about eight to 10 weeks, plus toxicology," he said.

NORTH FORSYTH -- Officials with the Georgia Department of Natural Resources, or DNR, with support from Forsyth County agencies, are continuing to search for 34-year-old Yakov Shteyman, of Cumming, who went missing on Lake Lanier after a boat and personal watercraft collided Monday night.

Around 8:30 p.m. April 10, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office and other local law enforcement personnel responded to Charleston Park in north Forsyth after Forsyth deputies received reports of a bass boat and a Jet Ski colliding, according to Deputy Doug Rainwater, a spokesman for the sheriff's office.

"We made the initial missing person report from when he fell off the Jet Ski [Monday] night, but [DNR's] investigation now is to locate him," Rainwater said.

Shteyman's family was at the scene Tuesday morning, but his identity was not released until late afternoon.
The driver and passengers of the bass boat are cooperating with authorities.

The search Monday, which involved aviation from the DeKalb County Police Department, Forsyth's marine unit, Forsyth's sheriff's office and fire department personnel and equipment and DNR's helicopter and boats, concluded around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, said DNR Region 1 Supervisor Capt. Johnny Johnson.

DNR and Forsyth officials were back on scene around 9 a.m. Tuesday, Johnson said, though DNR's Critical Incident Reconstruction Team, or CIRT, is now the official search agency.

Deputies and the sheriff's office mobile command center are providing support to CIRT, which will continue searching for Shteyman, Johnson said.

"DNR has a set protocol for this kind of thing," he said. "Our CIRT unit investigates these things to determine the facts. We're fortunate in this situation that we've got good witnesses and we've pretty much pinpointed the area.

"There's other things that we can do based on what the boat had on it; electronics can narrow the area down and we'll continue to run our sonar for up to a week, if it takes that long."

While Johnson said the lake's environment can change at any time, the agency is able to analyze water temperature, water conditions and lake flow data to better aid in the search process.

"We can look at that and kind of figure out when he should surface if we're not able to find him," he said. "Most times, we get [victims] before that, if they're in there, and we're lucky there's a smooth bottom on this part of the lake.

"A lot of places in the lake there's standing timber and it gets tough. It should be easier because of the conditions here and it's not on the main part of the lake."

Shteyman, who is presumed dead, is the second fatality on the lake already this year, Johnson said.

In February, a 37-year-old Buford man drowned off a dock in Hall County.

Lake Lanier saw 22 fatalities in 2016.

"This is early," Johnson said. "We don't like to start [having fatalities] this early. Usually, it's around Memorial Day weekend when everything starts.

"It's difficult to look forward to a summer when it starts like this."