Report: rescuers recover body of missing Lac La Belle swimmer

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- Oconomowoc police reported that on Saturday, at approximately 10:30 a.m., the body of the missing swimmer was recovered in approximately 32-feet of water west of Blackhawk Drive.

Rescue efforts were suspended at 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 21 and redeployed at 7:00 a.m. on Friday morning, July 22, and again at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, July 23, 2022 to continue the search. The Waukesha County Medical Examiner’s Office responded to the scene. 

Oconomowoc officials acknowledged that several agencies assisted in the search, including Wisconsin DNR, Waukesha County Sheriff’s Department, Western Lakes Fire District, City of Oconomowoc Police, Village of Hartland Police and Lake Country Fire, as well as the greater the Oconomowoc community. 

According to police, witnesses said that on Thursday that a 32-year-old male from Milwaukee was on a pontoon boat with his family. The subject began swimming in the area north west of Islandale when he went under water and did not resurface.

According to Oconomowoc police, this incident remains under investigation.

OCONOMOWOC, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A water search effort in Waukesha County resumed Friday morning. July 22.

Western Lakes Fire District's fire, EMS and dive teams responded to the possible drowning on Lac La Belle around 7:18 p.m. Thursday evening. 

The fire district says initial reports indicated that a male was swimming in the water in the area north of Islandale and south west of Buzzard Point on Lac La Belle. 

Mutual aid dive teams and boats were requested to assist in the search, and units on scene utilized sonar, divers, submersible and aerial drones. 

Rescue efforts were called off at 11 p.m. and resumed Friday morning. 

"We're utilizing various sonar techniques and we've got some equipment in route to help with our search," said Lt. Drew Starch of Wisconsin DNR. "And right now the focus is trying to find the victim and giving that closure to his family."

"It's a very large area, the last known location is very broad and expansive, so we're having to cover a large part of the lake with our search," said Western Lakes Fire District Chief Brad Bowen. "This is a recovery effort to bring closure to the family, the community, you know, this is a tragic event for everyone."

The boat launch at City Beach in Oconomowoc is closed at this time and will remain closed until further notice. 

Areas of Lac La Belle will also be closed while crews continue search efforts. 

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