The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate a fatal boating accident involving a personal watercraft on Dumont Lake, according to a sheriff’s news release.
The Allegan County Sheriff's Office Marine Division & Dive / Rescue & Recovery Team responded for search and rescue efforts after a 911 caller on Sunday afternoon reported that two men were on the watercraft and one had gone missing under the water.
Witnesses said a man and his son were riding the craft when it flipped over after hitting a wake created by another vessel. After flipping over, they tried to swim to a sunken island in the middle of the lake. The operator of the craft could not see his son, Gregory Troy Williams of Grand Rapids, and waved down another vessel that came to help.
The rescue team determined Williams had presumably drowned and began underwater search and recovery efforts while the marine patrol searched the area with on-board sonar. At 7:53 p.m. after about four hours of searching, divers located Williams in approximately 35 feet of water in the middle of the lake. He was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Williams was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident, officials said./
Divers searched an area approximately 350 yards long and 200 yards wide. Water temperatures varied from 85 degrees on the surface to approximately 41 degrees on bottom and with zero visibility.
Michigan law requires all persons on board or being towed by a personal watercraft to wear a life jacket (Personal Flotation Device or PFD).
The law also requires every vessel have a PFD for each person on board or while being towed when on the water.
The Allegan City Police Department, Wayland EMS, Hopkins and Allegan Township fire departments, Red Cross Canteen, the sheriff’s Victim’s Services Unit and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team assisted the sheriff’s office.