Search crews find body of Sylvania man who drowned while tubing with his daughter at Devils Lake

Authorities are trying to recover the body of a man who they said drowned in Devils Lake,...
Authorities are trying to recover the body of a man who they said drowned in Devils Lake, Michigan on Sunday, May 29.(WTVG)
Published: May. 29, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
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LENAWEE COUNTY, Mich. (WTVG) - Search crews recovered the body of a man who drowned at Devils Lake over the Memorial Day weekend.

According to the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office, 39-year-old Thomas Oleary, of Sylvania, drowned when he fell off a tube with his daughter on Sunday afternoon. The child was okay but Oleary did not resurface. Authorities said the girl was wearing a life vest at the time and Oleary was not.

His body was recovered more than 24 hours after the search began.

Officials told 13abc Monday his body was found in the sand bar area using sonar technology.

Police initially said the man jumped into the water to help a child who fell off a tube, but now believe they were already in the water when the tube flipped.

Their family was visiting the area with another family from Sylvania for the holiday weekend. They were on a pontoon boat with three to four adults and five to six children, according to Captain Jacob Pifer with the Lenawee County Sheriff’s Office.

Emergency crews responded with divers from the sheriff’s office, Michigan DNR and Addison Fire Department. Additional divers from the Somerset Fire Department Jackson County Dive Team are also assisting with the recovery mission. The Liberty Township Fire Department brought its sonar unit to help with the search.

“We’re going to be out here until we find him,” Pifer said.

Crews suspended the search just before 9 p.m. Sunday night. The search continued Monday morning at with help from the Toledo Fire and Rescue Department and Michigan State Police.

Oleary’s body was recovered Monday around 5:00 p.m.

A man hasn't resurfaced after he jumped in the water to try and help a child who fell off a tube, authorities said.

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