WEARE TOWNSHIP — The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office recovered the body of a Hart man Tuesday morning who was reported missing Monday afternoon while fishing on Pentwater Lake.
Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast said the body of Gary White, 70, of Hart, was located at 10:30 a.m. in the marshy area of the north branch of the Pentwater River approximately one-third of a mile south of the Monroe Road boat launch in Weare Township.
White was reported missing at approximately 4:45 p.m. Monday According to Mast, a second man fishing from a canoe launched at approximately 1 p.m. Monday near the Charles Mears barn along Monroe Road.
Mast said the second fisherman heard a boat motor running and could still it hear it running when he ended his time on the water. The second man went to investigate, found the 14-foot flat bottom johnboat partially filled with water and the motor running. The man secured the boat and contacted emergency personnel. It was believed White was fishing alone.
Emergency personnel from the sheriff’s office, state police and Department of Natural Resources began. A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter also was brought in and divers entered the water Monday in search for White to no avail.
Monday’s search lasted until dark and resumed Tuesday morning.
According to Mast, a Michigan State Police cadaver dog was brought in Tuesday morning and the dog made a “hit” on a location and divers reentered the water.
“Upon searching the river, the dog indicated a suspicious area,” Mast stated in a press release. “The DNR then used their sonar electronics to confirm what the dog indicated in the area. A sheriff’s deputy diver was then deployed into the river and helped to recover the victim in approximately 12 feet of water. The victim was not wearing a life vest.”
Mast said White family members had been notified.