Tragic Drowning of Teen in Lake Allatoona

Photograph by Robert Sutherland

DNR Rangers and Bartow County Sheriff Deputies respond to emergencies on Lake Allatoona. Photograph by Robert Sutherland

Georgia’s Department of Natural Resources Communications and Outreach Specialist Melissa Cummings informed at 1 PM on Sunday, May 25, 2014, of the tragic drowning of a young man in Lake Allatoona.

Early Sunday morning, Georgia DNR Law Enforcement conservation rangers on active patrol at Lake Allatoona received a call that a person was underwater at Holiday Harbor Marina (Dock D), located in Bartow County.

Upon arrival, witnesses stated that 18-year-old Chance Werner of Cartersville was playing a game with friends.

The game consisted of having a person sit in a shopping cart tied to a pole.  The cart was then forcefully pushed off the dock causing the person to “pop” out of the cart.  The person was expected to surface and swim to the dock.

This time, however, the cart was tied to Mr. Werner, not a pole.  The cart pulled him into the water and he did not resurface.  Chance Werner, who witnesses say graduated from high school on Saturday, was recovered by DNR at 2:50 a.m. in 30 feet of water still tied to the cart.

Assistance was provided by the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office and Bartow County Fire and Rescue.  The incident is still under investigation.

This is the first drowning of the holiday weekend and the first on Allatoona this year.  Statewide, there have been 11 boating under the influence arrests.  One minor boating incident was reported on Lake Lanier.

We extend our most profound condolences to Mr. Werner’s family and friends.

Boating information can be found at