WAREHAM (CBS) – Dive crews were able to recover the body of a missing swimmer from an icy pond in Wareham around 12:30 p.m. Monday. The recovery efforts took hours.
Wareham Deputy Fire Chief John Kelley said the closure of the man’s family was important. “They were there during that time as all the agencies worked hard on the job at hand to complete the takeover,” he said.
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His name was not made public, but authorities said he was from the area.
First responders from several towns were called to the small reservoir near a cranberry bog off County Road around 4:30 p.m. Sunday.
Initially, authorities said the middle-aged man fell through the ice. On Monday, they told reporters that he actually dove into the freezing water of his own free will for a swim, which they said he does regularly.
When his friends didn’t see him coming out, they called 911. Rescuers were there within seven minutes but couldn’t find him.
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Police are still investigating why the man was unable to get out of the water. There is no sign of foul play.
Several divers entered and chainsaws were used to cut through the ice, which was five inches thick in places, as temperatures dropped to around 10 degrees. The search ended around midnight and then resumed Monday at 8 a.m.
“We had to cut the ice. The divers who went into the water had problems with visibility, trees, stumps. It’s basically a pond that they use to flood the bogs with cranberries, so it’s not like a pond that someone would normally go swimming in, ”Deputy Fire Chief Patrick Haskell told WBZ-TV.
Massachusetts State Police use a sonar device, and State Environmental Police have an underwater robot with a camera on it to search for the pond, which is ten feet deep in places.
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No other information is available at this stage of the investigation.