SHELBYVILLE, Mich. (WOOD) - Authorities have recovered the body of a Grand Rapids teen in Gun Lake one day after he fell from a boat and went under the water.
Jhalak Bhattarai, 17, was struggling in the water around 3:10 p.m. Saturday when he went under. Dive teams and rescue crews searched for Bhattarai on Saturday, paused their search over night, and resumed on Sunday.
On Sunday, officials with the Orangeville Fire Department confirmed to 24 Hour News 8 that they recovered his body around 5 p.m on the south side of the lake.
There are conflicting reports about what happened before Bhattarai went under the water. According to witnesses in the area, two people originally fell off the boat and were struggling in the water. The other individual was immediately rescued from the water and was taken to an area hospital.
However, authorities do not back that story.
Chief Dan Boulter of the Orangeville Fire Department said his department was first on the scene and "our initial dispatch was one victim".
Marion Kish wrote on WOODTV.com: "I was on the boat, and it was an accident. It happened in a moment. (Jhalak Bhattarai) didn't realize how deep it was and panicked, and being a teen, didn't think about putting on his life vest before he jumped in. EVERY effort was made to rescue him, it took just a moment before we lost sight of him. His panicking almost pulled another in".
She said that Bhattarai was swimming in the lake before going under and he did not know how deep the water was.
Bhattarai, a sophomore at East Kentwood High School, moved to Grand Rapids from Nepal a few years ago.
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