Finally, there can be closure for the Prince family of Buford after last week's fatal boat collision on Lake Lanier.
Wednesday evening, divers from the Hall County Sheriff's Office and the FBI recovered the body of Griffin Prince, 13, who was thrown overboard in the collision June 18. The incident also killed Griffin Prince's brother Jake, 9.
Media reports say that Griffin Prince's body was recovered from an area where they were conducting their most dangerous dives yet. Dive crews said he was found about 113 feet down in the water.
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"We do hope the recovery of Griffin helps them put some closure on this tragic event at this time," Hall County Sheriff Steve Cronic said at a news conference. "It's so important to have that closure, and all of our guys understand that. So many of us have children of our own."
In a Facebook posting Wednesday night, the Prince family said, "All of our prayers have been answered. Yes, they did find our dear Griffin. We would like to thank all the wonderful men and women who worked non-stop to find him. We know you were all as emotionally invested in the recovery effort as we have been. When we met with you this morning at the lake, we had a peaceful, good feeling that today would be the day. "
"The last couple of hours have been a mixture of emotions: relief, gratitude, sadness, joy. Thank you all for your prayers, service, time and resources. We can never thank you enough."
Authorities say Paul J. Bennett drove the boat that collided with a pontoon boat piloted by Michael Prince Jr., the victims' father. Bennett has been charged with boating under the influence, and more charges are possible.
Michael Prince Jr. and his father, Michael Prince Sr., operated the Grass Shack, a boating business near Lake Lanier.
Griffin Prince's body was taken to DeKalb County Medical Examiner's Office for an autopsy,
Cronic said on myfoxatlanta.com that specialized FBI sonar equipment-- which is credited with finding Griffin-- and re-breather scuba gear used in the search made a huge difference in locating his body. This kind of equipment, he said, allowed divers to stay underwater longer than normal.