Downstate man drowns in Lake George

BOLTON - A 33-year-old man drowned in Lake George Thursday as he was swimming off the side of a boat on waters near Bass Island, authorities said.

The drowning victim, was Halit Seker of Brooklyn, was found Friday morning about 40 feet under the surface of Lake George in an area near The Narrows.

At about 2:20 p.m. Thursday, the Warren County Sheriff's Office received a cell phone call - apparently from one of the several friends in the boat, reporting a man underwater, county Undersheriff Robert Swan said.

The caller reported that a swimmer was missing in the area of Log Bay. The caller, unfamiliar with the lake and was difficult to understand because he spoke very broken English, Swan said. County dispatchers used GPS technology to determine that the incident was actually occurring near Bass Island, near the narrows of Lake George, and alerted the scuba dive team, the county Marine Patrol officers and the Lake George Park Commission patrol, as well as other authorities.

The boat patrol officers from both the county sheriff's office and the park commission arrived at the scene and determined that Halit Seker,of Brooklyn was with a group of friends on a 22-foot pontoon boat when he decided to take a swim from the boat. After a short time Seker began to have difficulty in the water and screamed for help. Seker sank below the surface of the water and was not seen again by his friends, authorities said.

The Warren County Sheriff's Office Scuba team responded to the scene and searched until dusk in water about 40 feet deep but was unable to locate the victim.

The Sheriff's Office Scuba team, assisted by the state Police divers, recovered Halit Seker's body at 10:15 a.m.Friday at the lake bottom near Bass Island. The recovery location was approximately 150 feet east of the area searched the night before.

The Sheriff's Office and Park Commission were assisted at the scene initially by fire companies from Bolton, Lake George, Horicon, Hague, and North Queensbury, and emergency squads from Bolton and Chestertown.

Seker's was removed to Green Island and then to Glens Falls Hospital where an autopsy is to be performed, authorities said.

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