Authorities were out on Lake Lanier Thursday in an effort to find the body of a missing 13-year-old boy killed in a boating accident.
Griffin Prince was thrown overboard Monday night and is still missing and presumed dead. His 9-year-old brother, Jake, was killed when another boat slammed into theirs.
Police said that boat was driven by Paul J. Bennett, 44.
Bennett was arrested and charged with boating under the influence. He bonded out of the Hall County Jail Tuesday afternoon.
Thursday search teams used an underwater camera called a Side Scan to help them search the lake which, in the search area, is deep and murky.
"Before this we really never had a way of viewing the bottom, you were just feeling around in the dark," said an officer with the Department of Natural Resources.
Search team said their optimism remained high and they were not giving up.
"The overall weight of the operation increases as an operation like this goes on, just because off the circumstances. It's a true tragedy for the family. Our agency and others involved want to bring some resolution to this, so the family can have some closure," said Hall County Sheriff Sergeant Stephen Wilbanks.
The murky water makes the search difficult - that's why divers depend on the specialized camera that looks like a torpedo. Crews scan the lake with the underwater camera. When they notice something odd or out of place, they send in a dive team to investigate.
"But the main factor is the underwater conditions, low visibility because of the sediment that we find in Lake Lanier and underwater-standing timber is also a problem," Wilbanks said.
On Wednesday, the boys' grandfather spoke out. Mike Prince said his family misses both of the boys terribly.
"They were excellent," Prince said.
Prince said the boys were honor students who loved riding their dirt bikes and flying model airplanes.
"It's devastating. It was a perfect family," Prince said. "I've buried everybody in my family and to bury two grandkids, it's tough. It's tough."
David Babineaux lives a few doors away from the Prince family's home in Buford.
"To have people lose children at that age, it's indescribable," Babineaux said.
Babineaux said he used to see the boys wave as they rode their bikes down the street.
He said losing his two young neighbors hurts almost as much as losing his own children.
"People lose people every day. When you lose a child, it's the worst thing possible," Babineaux said.
Jake was about to enter the fourth grade at White Oak Elementary School this fall. Griffin would have been an eighth grader at Lanier Middle School.
A memorial fund for the boys has been set up through Wells Fargo. Donations can be made to account #7581668121 in the name of Griffin and Jake Prince.
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