Deputies: Man falls off boat, drowns in St. Joseph Co. lake


FABIUS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — St. Joseph County sheriff’s deputies say a man drowned after falling from a boat Friday afternoon.

It happened at 3:54 p.m. on Clear Lake in Fabius Township. Witnesses told deputies that 55-year-old Clarence Payne of Highland, IN fell into the water and started to struggle. The witnesses tried to reach him but were unsuccessful.

After crews arrived on-scene, they were able to quickly find Payne in over 8 feet of water. He was brought to shore, but rescue crews were unable to resuscitate him and he was pronounced dead at the scene.

Deputies say they were assisted by area residents, St. Joseph County Dive Rescue and Recover, the Three Rivers Fire Department, Fabius-Park Fire and Rescue, as well as the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department Victim Services Unit.

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