Body of Rockford man found in Lake Michigan

Rescue crews are searching Lake Michigan after a man went missing on May 10, 2017.


FRUITLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The search for a Rockford man who fell into Lake Michigan is over.

Crews found the body of 65-year-old Donald Walter Schiele Friday morning in about 15 feet of water, near where his boat was recovered, according to the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office. Authorities were working to bring his body to shore Friday.

Schiele was about 300 yards offshore when he fell out of his aluminum fishing boat near Michillinda Lodge in Fruitland Township southwest of Whitehall. His self-propelled boat then took off, according to White Lake Fire Authority Chief Gregory Holman.

Witnesses standing on a bluff overlooking the lake heard his calls for help late Wednesday morning.

Holman was the first to arrive at the scene. He jumped into the lake and swam out as far as he could, but had to turn back because of the cold water temperatures.

Holman said he could no longer see the fisherman when he got back on shore.

Several watercraft combed the waters for Schiele Wednesday and Thursday. Two U.S. Coast Guard helicopters also aided in the effort.