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Dawson man dies after jumping off lake bridge
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Authorities say the death of a 22-year-old Dawsonville man last week is a sad and stark reminder not to jump from a Lake Lanier bridge.

"Any of that kind of behavior is of course careless and it in this case unfortunately proved fatal," said Forsyth County Fire Capt. Jason Shivers.

"Our hearts go out to the family that has lost a loved one and is hurting, but at the same time I hope that this tragic loss can help to deter someone else from making the same mistake in the future."

Thursday morning, firefighters recovered the body of Ryan Browning, who they say drowned after jumping off the Hwy. 369 bridge at Six Mile Creek.

Shivers said Browning's body was recovered about 8:45 a.m. in about 30 feet of water, some 30 feet from shore and under the bridge in northeastern Forsyth County.

The investigation into his death, which authorities said is the first drowning on the Forsyth County side of Lake Lanier this year, is ongoing.

The incident happened in the early morning hours Thursday.

Forsyth County Sheriff's Capt. Tim House said Browning had been with a couple of friends at the bridge.

Citing witness accounts, House said the three had been drinking alcohol when Browning attempted to do a double somersault off the bridge into the water.

After he did not resurface, Browning's friends flagged down a passing deputy.

The first distress call came in at 3:24 a.m., Shivers said. Rescue personnel initially interviewed witnesses and conducted a brief surface search.

"It would be unsafe for us to even attempt sonar or dive operations in the dark," he said.

Divers entered the water about 8 a.m. to search for Browning, finding him a short time later.

According to his obituary, Browning was a 2007 graduate of North Forsyth High School, where he was active in both track and football. He also attended Georgia Southern University and worked at Red Robin.

Survivors include his parents, Greg and Sandy Browning of Dawsonville; brother, Tyler Browning of Dawsonville; and grandparents, Howard and Harriet Browning of Elizabethton, Tenn.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Aug. 22 at Browns Bridge Community Church. Interment followed at Sawnee View Memorial Gardens.

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