RICHLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) - A Wyoming man drowned Saturday morning in Gull Lake in Kalamazoo County.
Authorities Monday identified the victim as 34-year-old Evert Chong Tan.
The Kalamazoo County Sheriff's Department was called to the lake around 9:15 a.m. Saturday to reports of two people in the water. According to Sheriff Richard Fuller, witnesses saw the couple's fishing boat make an abrupt turn, at which point the couple was tossed from the boat.
"When efforts began, there was a boat that was out of control on the lake and our focus at that time was to recover people from the water and get them out of the harms way," Fuller said.
He said another person on the lake fishing and people along the shore were quick to act and were able to get the woman, 30-year-old Mary Linh Nguyen, out of the water safely. They were not able to rescue the Tan.
"It was people that witnessed the incident and people that jumped into action, and we applauded them for their efforts and all the things that they did," he said.
Authorities said Monday that neither Tan nor Nguyen were wearing life vests. Those who were first on scene did throw them life jackets.
"Given the circumstances and how far out they were at the time. I think anybody with great skills would still have difficulty getting into shore. I'm pretty confident they did the best they could," Fuller said.
Dive crews were in the lake for about six hours before they were able to recover the Tan's body, which they found around 4 p.m. Saturday in 24 feet of water about 200 yards off shore.
"I'm real proud of the people that tried to save these lives today. They had a success, citizens saved the lady before rescue were even on scene. And that is something these people should be proud of, very proud of and I'm pleased to say they put a valiant effort forward to save both lives today and unfortunately we were only able to save one," said Fuller.
An autopsy has been scheduled, though authorities did not specify when.
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