UPDATE | Teen identified in Lincoln County drowning

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News 12 @ 6 o'clock / Monday, Sept. 1, 2014

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga (WRDW) -- A holiday get-away turns tragic once Jacoby Mason, 17, never made it back trying to cross the cove in the Soap Creek area near Blackfoot Road on Sunday.

Deputies said the teenager became tired as he swam across the cove. He tried to swim back, but never made it.

The view from David Hock's window will never seem quite the same.

"[It's a] very quiet cove, very little activity in the cove an very family-oriented," Hock said.

He and his wife, Linda, live only a few houses down from where Mason was staying with friends.

"We saw them when we got up here and they were real cheerful, they waved to us and we waved back. They were just real happy," he said.

The couple got to their house around 7 p.m. and within the hour they heard cries for help from the water.

"Last night, everyone just came together to help this family and to be there for them," Linda Hock said.

She called 911 around 8 p.m., but the search for Jacoby would last through late this morning.

"The men just didn't want to give up last night. The men were just determined for the sake of the family to bring them some resolution, even last night," he said.

Crews called off the search last night and began again first thing this morning. After about 14 hours, and with the help of DNR, Corps of Engineers, and the dive team, they were able to find the body of the teen.

"You could just tell even their hearts were broken having to carry out their duties, even knowing what the result was going to be," Hock said.

Now that the search is over, the Hock's say it's the community's turn.

"We'll all be rallying behind this family in the time when they need it most," he said.

A tragedy people on this cove will never forget. Neighbors say the water in that cove is very still and only about twelve feet deep. Officials said it's been a long time since they've had a drowning in that area.

This drowning death is just one of at least five in Georgia and South Carolina this holiday weekend.

Monday, September 1, 2014

LINCOLN COUNTY, Ga. (WRDW) -- Authorities have identified the teenager who drowned in the Soap Creek area near Blackfoot Road.

The Lincoln County Coroner says 17-year-old Jacoby Mason's body was found around 10:25 this morning. He was pronounced dead shortly thereafter.

Authorities searched an area about 50 to 60 yards from shore in water about 12 to 15 feet deep. They say this appears to be an accidental drowning.

Lincoln County Sheriff Bruce Beggs says Mason was swimming with a friend across an alcove when he may have become tired and went under the water. The friend was unable to reach him, leading to authorities being called out around 8 p.m. Sunday.

The sheriff said DNR, the Corps of Engineers and the McCormick County volunteer dive team were working to find Mason.

Sheriff Beggs said the friends were "enjoying the weekend and it turned tragic."

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