MONTEREY TOWNSHIP, MI – On Sunday July 15th, 2018, at approximately 3:42 p.m., Allegan County Central Dispatched received a 911 call reporting a boating accident involving a personal watercraft (PWC).
The caller reported that two subjects were on the vessel and one had gone missing under the water. The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division & Dive / Rescue & Recovery Team were then dispatched to Dumont Lake to begin search & rescue efforts.
According to witnesses, the victim and his son were riding the PWC when they had flipped over after hitting a wake created by another vessel. Once they had flipped over the PWC continued and they tried swimming to a sunken island in the middle of the lake. The operator of the PWC could not see his passenger and waved down another vessel who came to help.
Once on scene, it was determined that the passenger of the PWC had presumably drown and the Dive / Rescue & Recovery Team began underwater search & recovery efforts while Marine Patrol personnel searched the area with on-board sonar.
After approximately 4 hours of searching at 7:53 p.m. divers located the victim in approximately 35’ of water in the middle of the lake. The victim was brought to medical personnel on shore and was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Divers searched an area approximately 350 yards long and 200 yards wide. Water temperatures varied from 85 degrees on the surface to approximately 41 degrees on bottom. Water visibility was zero.
The victim was identified as Gregory Troy Williams of Grand Rapids. The investigation revealed that Mr. Williams was not wearing a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket) at the time of the incident.
Michigan law requires all persons on board or being towed by a Personal Watercraft to wear a Personal Flotation Device (life jacket).
Michigan law also requires that every vessel have a Personal Flotation Device for every person on board or while being towed when operating on the water.
Assisting the Sheriff’s Office was the Allegan City Police Department, Wayland EMS, Hopkins Fire Department, Allegan Twp. Fire Department, Red Cross Canteen, the Sheriff’s Office Victim’s Services Unit and the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team.
The incident remains under investigation by the Sheriff’s Office.