Search for man presumed drowned in Wind Lake now “recovery effort”

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WIND LAKE -- The search resumes for a 57-year-old West Allis man who is missing and presumed drowned after jumping off a boat in Wind Lake Saturday evening, July 7th. It was a tense day for family members and friends waiting on the water's edge, as the rescue effort has now become a recovery effort.

The man was at Wind Lake for a family gathering when he jumped off the boat shortly after 5:30 p.m. and did not resurface.  Authorities say the man was a good swimmer and knew the lake well.  He was boating with several people before the accident.

On Sunday, a family member went back out with search crews to try and pinpoint a search area, while divers used sonar and other tools to scan the water. About 45 first responders have played a role in searching for the man.

The man went under in the middle of the lake, and divers say that provides several challenges. Divers say visibility improved in the water Sunday, but was still patchy. Divers say the 35-foot depth of the middle of the lake is also challenging.

Officials say an individual with the man called 911 Saturday after efforts to bring the man back to the boat failed. As a first step, crews used GPS technology to determine where in the lake the emergency call was made.

Crews took wind and water currents into consideration and began using sonar before dive teams breached the water, in order to avoid disturbing the muck at the bottom of the lake which leads to visibility difficulties.

The Racine County Sheriff's Department, DNR, Town of Norway Police Department, Wind Lake, Tichigan and Kansasville Fire & Rescue all took part in the search for the man.

Officials believe this to be an accidental drowning. Officials say the man had no known medical problems.

Officials say the recovery effort will reconvene early Monday morning, July 9th.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.

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