Police ID man who drowned in Ottawa Co. lake

WRIGHT TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A Grand Rapids man died Thursday after the boat he was in overturned in a lake in Ottawa County.

It happened just before 12 p.m. in the 2900 block of Roosevelt Street in Wright Township.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department says two men were fishing on a private lake when the victim, a 66-year-old Richard Buikema, was in the front of the boat and stood up. The boat then tipped over, sending both men into the water.

Both men started swimming back to shore but Buikema had trouble getting back about 15 feet away from shore.

A bystander and the other man in the boat were able to get him to shore but he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies say the boat had life jackets but were not used.

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