Former Wave player Brett Wiesner's body found in Oconomowoc Lake

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by Lane Kimble

VILLAGE OF OCONOMOWOC LAKE -- The calm, early morning hours on Oconomowoc Lake turned into a frantic search Saturday.
 

"Somebody had gone into the water swimming and did not come out," Oconomowoc Lake Police Captain Andy Helwig said.

Police got a call around 4:40 a.m. from a group of friends who had been on a pontoon.  They said two men had jumped in to swim, but only one came back.  The seven friends searched the water themselves for about 20 minutes before calling 911.

"All the occupants of the boat say basically he was in the water and then they lost track of him," Helwig said.

Dozens of emergency responders searched the northern area of Oconomowoc Lake throughout the morning. Then, around 12:40 p.m., a dive team member spotted Brett Wiesner's body in 42 feet of water.

"All I did hear today was that he's very athletic," Helwig said.  "[The] Family is very shocked and depressed."

The 31-year-old Wiesner was a former Milwaukee Wave soccer player who helped the team win the MISL Championship in 2011.  Police say was visiting friends on the lake.  There were life jackets on the boat, but not on the swimmers.

"Planning ahead is the most important part about being on the boat," DNR Conservation Warden Mitchell Groenier said.

Groenier's department helped in Saturday's search.  He says about 95 percent of the deadly boating incidents they investigate deal with victims not wearing life jackets.

"People keep them under their seats in pontoon boats, in locked compartments, so they gotta be readily accessible so you can actually get to the life jackets," Groenier said.

Police couldn't say yet if alcohol, drugs or anything else was to blame for Wiesner's death.

"Doing recreational activities is always dangerous, whether it's one o'clock in the afternoon or four o'clock in the morning," Helwig said.  "Know what you're up against."
 

The Waukesha County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy Monday morning.  Police say this would be the first drowning on the lake in more than a decade.

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