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Witnesses: Man drops something into lake, drowns trying to retrieve it


ST. JOSEPH, Mich. -- The Berrien County Marine Unit said that an unidentified man drowned right around noon on Tuesday.

Officers said a 30 to 40-year-old black man jumped from the pier in St. Joseph into Lake Michigan.

Witnesses tell ABC57 News that it appeared as though he dropped something and then tried to jump in after it. He resurfaced, yelled for help, and went back under the water.

Folks we talked to say they understand the risks.

"It just makes you nervous, you know what I mean knowing people died doing right what you're doing,” said Taylor Conner.

"You never know what's down here,” said Pete Sliter. “You jump in and the current takes you and the rip tide grabs a hold of you and can take you down and under instead of popping back up."

The Berrien County dive team was called in and retrieved the body from an area of water that was 7 feet deep.

The Coast Guard took the body and handed it over to medics. He was pronounced dead at Lakeland hospital.

Although officials say pier jumping is dangerous, it is not against the law at the pier on Silver Beach. 

The St. Joseph Police Department is working to identify the body.


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