Body Recovered from NJ Lake After Canoe Capsizes: Police

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The search for a missing fisherman ended just hours after his canoe capsized in New Jersey, with divers pulling the man's body from the Round Valley Reservoir along with a piece of gear that could have saved his life. Lori Bordonaro has more from Clinton Township.

    A body has been recovered from the reservoir where a man went missing earlier Monday afternoon, police said. 

    State Police pulled the body from the Round Valley Reservoir shortly before 7 p.m., about 150 feet away from where his canoe capsized near the North Dam and 70 feet below the surface of the water. 

    Officials said the victim, who was in his middle ages, had fishing gear in his canoe and may have been fooled by the springlike conditions Monday. 

    The water "doesn't look too daunting, it's a little bit choppy, not too bad," said Larry Ragonese of the DEP. "But if you go around the cove, it's much choppier and people may underestimate the strength of this lake."

    The water was about 36 degrees when the divers went in, and the victim was found without a life vest, police said.

    If he had been wearing one, said State Police Staff Sgt. Chris Wozniak, "he would be standing here with us." 

    The search for the man began at about noon, when someone saw him go into the water, according to Wozniak. Divers stood by most of the day as the State Police Marine Unit used a side scan sonar to take underwater images as far down as 180 feet in one of the state's deepest lakes.

    "Without having that technology, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack," said Wozniak. "We can pinpoint, we can drop down a marker right on the target, send divers directly down. Our divers were able to go in for minutes." 

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