By Paul Garrod
BANGOR TOWNSHIP – A 25-year-old man from Mexico drowned early Sunday night, July 30, in a Bangor Township Pond, after he and three other individuals were in a boat that began taking on water, according to a press release from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
Van Buren County Sheriff Daniel Abbott reported deputies were dispatched to the scene for a report of an individual who had fallen out of a boat while in a pond, and now in the water and could not swim. Deputies arrived on the scene while the Hartford Fire Department personnel were also on scene and began efforts to locate the individual. Several friends reported where they last saw the individual, but due to murky water condition, they were unable to see him, and he had gone under water several minutes earlier.
The Van Buren County Sheriff’s Dive Team personnel arrived on the scene at approximately 6:30 p.m. in the 65000 block of 48th Avenue and were able to enter the water in the area where the individual was last scene. After about five minutes of searching, they located the individual in approximately 10 feet of murky water with zero visibility. He was moved to shore where lifesaving efforts were attempted. Abbott said extensive efforts to revive the individual were made but were unsuccessful.
After further investigation, it was determined that four individuals went out into the pond in a small boat that had holes in it. The boat began taking on water and began to sink. Three of the individuals were able to swim to shore, however, the fourth individual could not swim and immediately began to struggle in the water before going under. One of the individuals who made it out of the water ran to a nearby road to wave down a passer-by to call 911 for assistance.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with additional information is asked to contact the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office.
Sheriff Abbott reminds the public when going boating on any waterway to have the proper safety equipment, including lifejackets, readily available for everyone.
Assisting at the scene were the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team, Hartford Fire Department, Bangor Fire Department, South Haven Area Emergency Services, Great Lakes Drone and Van Buren Emergency Services (VBEMS).