Crews recover missing boater on Muskegon Lake

Muskegon lake
The scene of a July 14, 2017 rescue turned recovery effort of a missing boater on Muskegon Lake.

MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) — Authorities say they have recovered the body of a man who went missing in Muskegon Lake on Friday after a six hour search.

The Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office said it was called to the northwest section of the lake, offshore from the Muskegon State Park around 2 p.m. Search teams were able to recover the man around 8:15 p.m. according to police.

Authorities have identified the man as 60-year-old Mark Finkler. Muskegon County Deputy Fire Chief Bob Grabinski said his family was camping nearby at Muskegon State Park Channel Campground.

The Muskegon Township Fire Department tells 24 Hour News 8 Finkler’s boat drifted from shore onto Muskegon Lake. He swam out about 500 yards to get it when witnesses said he went under.

“He thought he had his boat tied off, it wasn’t. He went back out, he went swimming after it and went down,” Grabinksi said.

Authorities found the drifting vessel with no one aboard. Sonar was used to comb the bottom of the lake that is 50 feet deep at some points. It returned two hits, but divers found nothing at the time.

The Muskegon County Dive Team, North Muskegon Fire Department and U.S. Coast Guard were called in to help with the search effort.

A Coast Guard helicopter and at least six emergency boats were on the water two hours after Finkler disappeared.

“The family has been notified, and there’s some relief there obviously, because he’s found,” Grabinski said.