Body of diver found near Allegan-area dam

Allegan County

VALLEY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Crews have recovered the body of a diver who went missing in the Kalamazoo River northwest of Allegan Wednesday.

Consumers Energy says the diver worked for one of its contractors, Great Lakes Engineering Group, and was inspecting the hydroelectric Calkins Bridge Dam in Valley Township.

The Allegan County Sheriff’s Office dive team was sent to the dam to look for the diver after he went missing shortly before noon. Crews put boats and divers in the water and drones in the sky as they searched.

“There was Consumers people looking over the edge and within five minutes of throwing a line out … the cavalry came, so I knew something was wrong, obviously, right away,” witness Ryan Catlett, who was at the river to fish, said. “They were using sticks to probe in the water and so it was apparent they were looking for somebody.”

He said he saw more than 50 people aiding in the search.

The body was ultimately found around 4 p.m. a short distance downriver from where he was last seen, firefighters said. His name has not yet been released.

“Our hearts go out to this individual’s family, friends and co-workers during this tragic time,” Consumers said in a statement after the body was recovered. “Safety remains Consumers Energy’s top priority and we will work with local authorities as an investigation regarding the cause of this incident is conducted.”

Other neighbors said the river is quite rocky near the dam and that they think it would be difficult for a diver with a tank to make it past.

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