200701_mr_drowning_new

Divers from multiple agencies about noon Wednesday, June 24, recovered the body of a 65-year-old Spring Hill man who drowned the previous evening at Hillsdale Lake when he fell out of a boat while attempting to tie it to a tree sticking out of the water. Recovery efforts were suspended about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, and resumed Wednesday morning.

HILLSDALE LAKE — With the help of specialized underwater equipment, divers about noon Wednesday, June 24, were able to locate the body of a 65-year-old Spring Hill man who drowned in Hillsdale Lake the previous evening.

The Miami County Sheriff’s Office said the man has been identified as Richard W. Bangs.

First responders were dispatched to the Marysville Boat Ramp at Hillsdale Lake about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 23, for a report of a person who went into the water and did not resurface, the sheriff’s office reported.

The search was concentrated around a group of trees sticking out of the water about 2,000 feet from shore, Capt. Matt Kelly said at the scene Wednesday morning.

A witness stated the man had fallen out of a boat while attempting to tie it to one of those trees, Kelly said.

Emergency personnel resumed recovery efforts Wednesday morning after the search was suspended about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday, according a sheriff’s office report.

Divers with the Overland Park Police Department and Johnson County Fire District No. 2 recovered Bangs’ body about 2,000 feet from the shoreline in the Marysville Boat Ramp area at 253rd Street and Orleans Road, Kelly said. The body was 27 feet below the water’s surface, he said.

Garmin International was called to assist due to the amount of trees and debris underwater as well as zero visibility, Kelly said.

Garmin personnel utilized specialized underwater equipment to help locate the body and guide divers to recover it, Kelly said.

Kelly said foul play is not suspected and the case continues to be investigated by the Miami County Sheriff’s Office.

Dive Teams from the Osawatomie Fire Department, Johnson County Fire District No. 2 and the Overland Park Police Department began a search of the area after the report came in Tuesday evening.

The Marysville Boat Ramp and the waters immediately surrounding it were closed to the public.

Miami County EMS and Wildlife, Parks and Tourism assisted in the recovery efforts.

News Editor Doug Carder can be reached at (913) 294-2311 or doug.carder@miconews.com.

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