Memorial fund established for men who drowned near Sheboygan

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SHEBOYGAN — Sheboygan County Sheriff’s officials say the body of 21-year-old David Diener was pulled from Lake Michigan Sunday afternoon around 12:20 p.m. The body of 37-year-old Kurt Netzer was recovered in Lake Michigan around 3:00 p.m. Saturday, August 11th. The men went missing on Friday after reportedly falling into the water near a break wall.

Netzer’s fiance, Penny White says a memorial fund has been established for the men. Donations will be accepted at U.S. Bank in Sheboygan. Donations can be made to the “Kurt Netzer and David Diener Memorial Fund.”

Netzer’s body was found near South Pier by the Sheboygan County Dive Team.

The men were unaccounted for after waves swept them into Lake Michigan. The men were reportedly fishing, lost their equipment and on Friday afternoon, went searching for it.

“The pier itself is low and waves are breaking over the pier. That’s what led to this accident to begin with,” Sheboygan Police Captain Steve Cobb said.

“He knows how to swim. He’s athletic and he’s young and I’m surprised this has happened to him,” Kevin Krei said of his friend Netzer.

FOX6 News also spoke to Edward Netzer — the oldest brother of the missing man, who said he also lost one of his brothers in 1992 in a tragic car accident.

“I want them to find my brother. I want to know that he’s going to come back alive and I know that’s probably not possible,” Kayla Ortigoza said of her brother, Diener.

“My friend tried to jump in and save them but they went under before she could get to them and they never came back up,” Ortigoza said.

Ortigoza says her friend is her brother’s fiance, who attempted to rescue the men herself while others called the Coast Guard for help.

The U.S. Coast Guard, and Sheboygan fire and police departments were involved in the search.

Officials tell FOX6 News there is a gale warning in effect for that area, issued by the National Weather Service. That’s one step up from a small craft advisory and the waves are running about 5 to 6 feet.