KALAMAZOO CO, Mich. — Search and rescue crews recovered a Wyoming man’s body from Gull Lake six hours into the search.
It had been a peaceful day on the lake for a couple who’d gone fishing. However, Kalamazoo County sheriff Richard Fuller said that changed around 9 a.m.
“Witnesses said a subject had gone under the water. The boat was still traveling in a circle out of control in the area,” Richard Fuller, Kalamazoo County Sheriff said.
“It looks like, while they were fishing, they were going to leave one location and go to another location and that while they were moving their boat, somehow the boat had turned, made an abrupt turn,” Fuller said.
The sudden turn threw the woman and her boyfriend from the boat. Fuller said neither was wearing life jackets although one is required to be on board for each person. It’s not clear whether life jackets were on board.
“The first boat on the scene was another fisherman,” Fuller said.
That fisherman and several other people from the shore tried to rescue the couple. Witnesses were able to get the woman out of the lake and to the shore. However, the group had a hard time saving her boyfriend.
“Life preservers were tossed to the person that did not make it today, and that subject was unable to hang onto the life preservers,” Fuller explained.
Undersheriff Paul Matyas says the victim is a 35 year old dentist from the city of Wyoming. His family stood at the edge of the shore waiting for rescuers to recover his body.
“The lake has spots that are 110 feet deep. What we were working in was a couple different areas today. We felt that we were searching an area that was up to 40 feet deep,” Fuller said.
After 6 hours of searching, his body was found in a shallower area.
“This is a very tragic event for a family, and they’re going to have a lot of trying to get together to help one another but if anything people take away from this, please use your life preservers,” Fuller said.
The man’s name won’t be released until other relatives have been notified. An autopsy is scheduled sometime early next week.