“Man Drowns Saving Dog: Jackie Merrell of Ellijay Dies in Tragic Rescue Attempt”

By | July 20, 2023



A tragic incident occurred at the Little River Boat ramp on Lake Allatoona, resulting in the death of a man who allegedly drowned while attempting to save his dog. The Department of Natural Resources received a distress call just before 10 a.m. on Thursday, prompting their immediate response.

The man who lost his life has been identified as Jackie Merrell from Ellijay. Witnesses at the scene reported that Merrell had ventured into the water to rescue his dog when he suddenly disappeared near the falls in Little River. The Cherokee County dive team was called in to assist with the search and rescue operation.

After a thorough search, the dive team discovered Merrell’s body submerged in 15 feet of water. He was quickly transported to Kennestone Hospital, but unfortunately, he was pronounced dead upon arrival. Authorities have not disclosed the condition of the dog involved in the incident.

This tragedy serves as a reminder of the risks associated with water-related activities, especially when attempting to save another life. While the instinct to rescue a beloved pet is commendable, it is essential to prioritize personal safety. It is crucial to assess the situation and consider alternative options, such as calling for professional help or using safety equipment, before putting oneself in harm’s way.

The Little River Boat ramp incident highlights the importance of water safety education and awareness. Understanding the potential dangers and taking necessary precautions can prevent similar accidents in the future. It is crucial to stay informed about local water conditions and adhere to safety guidelines and regulations when engaging in water activities.

Our thoughts go out to Jackie Merrell’s family and friends during this difficult time. May this tragic event serve as a reminder to always prioritize personal safety, even in the face of challenging circumstances..