HARRISON TWP. (WWJ) — The body of missing Southfield fire chief Keith Rowley was found by police dive teams in Lake St. Clair on Monday evening.
Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said that the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team recovered the body of the 58-year-old Milford resident, who had gone missing on Friday evening on Lake St. Clair.READ MORE: Fourth Stimulus Check: Will Americans Get Another Relief Payment?
Rowley’s body was recovered just after 7 p.m. on Monday evening. A Macomb Sheriff Aviation Unit located the body and Sheriff Marine Division deputies and Dive Team Members recovered the body from approximately 12 feet of water.
The body was approximately ½ mile out of the original search area.
Rowley had been aboard a 40-foot Trojan boat along with three other people when he went overboard.
“They were just traveling back from a day out on the water heading back to the marina,” Wickersham said. “The information that we have is that a hat blew off of the operator of the vessel and that the fire chief then jumped in the water to retrieve it.”READ MORE: Michigan Reports 7,185 New COVID-19 Cases, 35 Deaths
Rowley’s friends tried to help him, but were unsuccessful.
“Due to the high winds, they tried to turn the boat around and get close. They report that they were unable to get close enough to throw a life ring to him and then he went under,” said Wickersham.
Police quickly responded to the scene and launched a search operation. They also interviewed Rowley’s friends, a 55-year-old Rochester Hills woman, a 38-year-old Bloomfield Township woman and a 55-year-old Troy man.
“Once our deputies arrived and began gathering information, it was apparent that the operator of that vessel was intoxicated and he was taken into custody,” Wickersham said.MORE NEWS: MDOT: Final Adopt-A-Highway Cleanup Of 2021 Starts September 25
The Troy man was arrested for operating a watercraft while intoxicated. His name was not released.