Man drowns trying to help son on Geneva Lake

NOW: Man drowns trying to help son on Geneva Lake

LAKE GENEVA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- The body of a 31-year-old Illinois man was pulled from Geneva Lake Monday morning, Aug. 2. Officials say Antonio Delasancha Jr. was trying to help his son who was struggling in the water when he drowned. 

"It's the worst part of job," Tom Hausner said. He is Geneva Lake Police Commander. "I hate telling the people that they're loved one is no longer with them."

According to Commander Hausner, Antonio was driving a 2000, 17' Tracker boat Sunday, Aug. 1, pulling his two pre-teen daughters on a tube. One girl fell off the tube and Antonio turned around to pick her up. When the boat stopped to pick up the girl, Antonio's 11-year-old son -- who was wearing a life jacket -- jumped into the water to swim.

Officials say the boy started to drift away from the boat and began to struggle. Antonio then jumped in the water without a life jacket to try and help his son but while swimming toward him, authorities say Antonio went under the surface and did not come up. 

"I get a father is trying to save his child. The child was in a personal floatation device, a life jacket. The child was fine. If he would have taken the time to grab a life vest, put a life jacket on and pull him, we wouldn't be talking right now," Hausner said. 

Commander Hausner continues to stress the importance of a life jacket.

"It's a different world getting onto Geneva Lake when it's busy, and the waves from the boats, winds, and your boat starts to drift away, and you’re trying to recover yourself and you realize you cant."

Robert Moll is a frequently out on the lake. He says he's always prepared in a drastic situation.

"When I go swimming I always have my jacket on. I got a rope tied to me so I won't drift away because this lake especially on the weekend, the wave and the currents from all the boats it could take you away," Moll said. 

"We can avoid tragedy if people just take the time to think about their own safety as well, "Commander Hausner said.

A search and rescue began just after 7 p.m. Sunday night, and turned into a recovery operation. Antonio's body was found using sonar technology. Out of safety concerns, his body was pulled from the water Monday morning. 

An investigation is ongoing. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is assisting in the investigation. 

Geneva Lake Police, along with Town of Linn, City of Lake Geneva, Village of Fontana, Williams Bay Fire and Rescue units responded along with Water Safety Patrol. A MABAS Water Rescue alarm was activated. Units from Southeast Wisconsin and Northern Illinois responded to assist in the rescue/recovery operations.

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