HARRISON TWP. (WWJ) – Officials have identified a man who drowned while out fishing with a friend on Lake St. Clair.
Authorities recovered the body of 60-year-old Brad Thacker, of Warren, around 11:30 p.m. Wednesday, about four hours after his boat tipped over in Anchor Bay.
Thacker’s companion, a 39-year-old Macomb Township man, was brought to shore by another boater. He is currently in critical condition at a local hospital, receiving treatment for hypothermia. Police say he is expected to survive.
Macomb County Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said crews were notified of the situation around 7:47 p.m. after receiving a 911 call from another boater, a 62-year-old Troy man, who came upon a 15-foot aluminum fishing boat that was “sunk up to its bow,” with a man clinging to the side.
“I’m offshore the Selfridge Boat Launch. I just picked a guy up out of the drink,” the man told dispatchers. “I don’t know how much time I’ve got with him, or how long he’s been in the water. … Right now he’s covered up and I’m headed in. He’s soaking wet.”
By the time deputies arrived at the Department of Natural Resources Access Site on William P Rosso Highway in Harrison Township, the Macomb Township man was on the shore. He was suffering from hypothermia, but was able to tell deputies that he was not alone on the boat.
While medical help tended to the injured man, deputies accompanied the Troy man back out on to the lake to the capsized boat. Despite efforts, Thacker could not be immediately located. The Sheriff Marine Division was notified, the U.S. Coast Guard responded, and the Sheriff’s Dive Team was activated.
Using sonar and a robot, the Macomb County Sheriff Dive Team was eventually able to locate Thacker’s body in the water.
“He was in about eight feet of water, and the divers went in and recovered his body,” said Wickersham. “At this time, investigators are still trying to determine what happened.”
Police say the two men were not wearing life jackets. The water temperature was about 40 degrees at the time.
“I think these gentlemen were out there fishing, you know, fishermen are going to go out when there’s an opportunity,” said Wickersham. “So, it’s not that unusual that they were out there. They weren’t that far offshore, either. … But thankfully there was another boater out there that was coming in and saw what was transpiring and was able to help rescue the one survivor.”
An investigation is ongoing.