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Drowning victim recovered from Geneva Lake after tubing accident Tuesday
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Drowning victim recovered from Geneva Lake after tubing accident Tuesday

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Commander of Geneva Lake Police Tom Hausner reflects on the drowning that occurred yesterday, July 13 at Geneva Lake around 3:30 p.m. The body of the victim, a 22-year-old man, was located last night around 11:45 p.m. and recovered this morning from a depth of 128 feet.

WILLIAMS BAY — The body of a 22-year-old man who slipped under water during a tubing accident has been pulled from Geneva Lake, confirmed Tom Hausner commander of the Geneva Lake Law Enforcement Agency.

He has been identified as Fadi A. Albazi of Morton Grove, a northern Chicago suburb. 

Using underwater sonar technology, the body was detected and located Tuesday around 11:45 p.m. in approximately 128 feet of water but due to the depth it was not safe for divers to go down.

In the morning, they were able to use two remote operated vehicles, which function like underwater drones equipped with clamps, to bring in the young man's body, Hausner said. He was pulled from the water at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

Hausner said a similar drowning occurred last year in July near Stone Manor, in which an individual's boat floated away while he was swimming without a life jacket on.

Hausner noted that relative to its high boating density, Geneva Lake has been fortunate over the past decade to have seen few fatalities. 

The search started on Tuesday afternoon after dispatch received a call at 3:30 p.m. for a man in his 20s who slipped under water.

The man was wearing a life jacket when he was tubing, but he apparently didn’t have it secured properly and the life jacket came off during the incident, Hausner said.

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The victim began to struggle to remain above water and occupants on the boat jumped into the water to try and rescue the victim but were unsuccessful.     

After the call came in agencies from Wisconsin and Illinois quickly responded, with as many as 150 responders on scene, Hausner said. They used drones above and below water.

At 5:13 p.m. – nearly two hours after the call came in – the Geneva Lake Police stated on Facebook that the water search was no long a search and rescue mission.

“Our operations have turned to recovery at this time,” the Geneva Lake Police posted online.

“At this time we are looking for an individual who is approximately 22-23 years of age from the state of Illinois,” Hausner said during a 6 p.m. news conference at George Williams College.

Four hours later, unfortunately the status had not yet changed and the man had still not been located. The plan was to continue searching through the night.

Hausner said no foul play is suspected.

“We believe it was an accident,” Housner said.

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