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Indianapolis man dies after being recovered by divers at Geist Reservoir

The Fishers Fire Department is urging boaters to always have a life vest with them in the water, especially in water they can't see in.

FISHERS, Ind. — A 33-year-old Indianapolis man was pronounced dead at a local hospital after he was recovered at Geist Reservoir by divers with the Fishers Fire Department.

The Fishers Fire Department received a call for help around 2:40 p.m. Sunday. Callers said two people were in the water at Geist Reservoir and one person was able to get out but the other was unaccounted for. 

The person who was unaccounted for had jumped off a rented pontoon boat that was anchored in the center of the basin. Officer John Gano, of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, said it was a windy day at Geist Reservoir. The water was rough, and Gano said the wind was making for "pretty serious waves." When the man jumped into the water, the boat began drifting away from him, and Gano said he never resurfaced. 

A couple of people on the pontoon boat jumped into the water to try to find and rescue the man. When they couldn't find him, they called 911. 

Before first responders had arrived, witnesses marked an area where they believed the person was last seen and gave it to divers as a starting point for their search. 

Gano said because they were in the middle of the basin, it was like searching for "a needle in a haystack." But, the Indianapolis Sailing Club was a big help. One of the club's safety boats actually picked up another person who had drifted away from the pontoon boat and then helped law enforcement pin down an area where the missing man may have been located. 

Around 3:23 p.m., first responders were able to figure out where in the water the man might be and when a FFD diver jumped into the water, they almost immediately found the man. It had been 45 minutes since he had surfaced. Gano said first responders attempted CPR and transported him to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

The deceased man was later identified as Vincent Patton, 33, of Indianapolis.

Following the incident, the Fishers Fire Department is urging boaters to always have a life vest with them in the water, especially in water they can't see in. The fire department also said boaters who see an emergency boat in the water should stay far from its location.