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DROWNING: Fort Wayne man, 29, dies in Old Lake

August 13, 2012

Post and Mail photo / Nicole Ott
Dive teams from several different agencies worked to locate the body of James Beck of Fort Wayne after her drown in Old lake.

COLUMBIA CITY — Indiana conservation officers are investigating the apparent drowning of a Fort Wayne man on a northwest Whitley County Lake.

Officers say 29-year-old James Beck was swimming Saturday around 1:45 p.m. toward a floating raft on Old Lake when his girlfriend spotted him struggling.

Despite her attempt to swim out and help him, she couldn't hold on to him as he struggled and he disappeared under the surface of the water.

Divers from five different agencies spent approximately seven hours searching for the body. He was recovered in about 20 feet of water.

According to police, preliminary results from Sunday's autopsy are consistent with an accidental drowning.

Richland Township firemen were first on the scene along with multiple Whitley County Sheriff's Deputies. Along with conservation officers, Thorncreek Township's dive team, Kosciusko County's dive team, Noble County's dive team and Warsaw City's dive team made the scene, located at 7360 N CR 350 W.

Rescuers used several boats with sonar and underwater cameras to locate the body.

Saturday's drowning marks the second drowning in two weeks. A 19-year-old Fort Wayne man died at Troy Cedar Lake, just 3.2 miles away from Old Lake.

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