East China Township Man Presumed Drowned in St. Clair River

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Facebook Photo: Riley Gleason

ST CLAIR, MI – A 21 year old East China Township man is presumed drowned following an incident in the St. Clair River on Friday night.

Riley Gleason was on a boat behind the St. Clair Inn, when he jumped into the river. Two friends who were with Gleason said that he immediately began calling for help. One of the friends, 21-year-old Carter Simons of China Township, said he threw a rope and then a flotation device to Gleason, but neither worked. Simons then jumped into the water and was able to grab Gleason. However, Gleason eventually slipped from Simons’ grasp and went under water.

Deputies from the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Marine Division and a St. Clair Fire Department boat were called to the area shortly before 9:00 Friday. The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was dispatched shortly after. A U.S. Coast Guard boat and helicopter also joined in the search.

The search for Gleason continued until after 11:00 p.m. Friday before it was called for the night. Divers were back in the water on Saturday morning, searching the St. Clair River for nine hours, along with using sonar equipment. The search continued on Sunday, with divers in the water and sonar being used for a total of 12 ½ hours, but were unable to recover the body.

Members from the Dive Team will be back in the river again this afternoon in an attempt to recover the missing swimmer. Joining the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team today will be members of dive teams from Sanilac, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne Counties.

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