Missing boater in Lake Fenton ID'd - WNEM TV 5

Missing boater in Lake Fenton ID'd

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Genesee County authorities have closed Lake Fenton to the public as they search for a missing boater.

Fenton Township fire officials say the lake is closed Wednesday because a boater was reported missing on the lake overnight. The township's dive team has been called to help with the search. Michigan State Police are also expected to assist.

Authorities identified the missing boater as James Lehmkuhle, 61, of Flushing.

"He knows the lake very well and that's what is so concerning to us," said Mike Forystek, family spokesperson.

Lehmkuhle went out on the lake Tuesday morning just as he did a couple of times a week.

"He went out fishing yesterday, 8:30 in the morning, didn't hear from him. Round noon that's usually when he checks in, so that's when we started getting concerned," Forystek said.

Fenton Township Search and Rescue, the Genesee County Dive Team, along with the Flightcare helicopter from Ann Arbor searched till 2 a.m.

The only clue they've turned up is his boat.

It was found Tuesday night about 200 yards from the Moose Lodge on Lake Fenton, which is now the search command post. 

"He's diabetic and the problem with that is inside the boat, we actually found his insulin pump, so that's where the largest concern comes at right now. Without the insulin pump, yeah, he needs it to survive," Forystek said.

Officials said one of the difficulties they're having in the search for Lehmkuhle is the actual size of Lake Fenton. They're bringing in some special equipment from the state police to aid in the effort.

"We have three sonar boats coming in, because again we have no idea where he was fishing at or what had happened. So we're just at the point now of a needle in a hay stack. Started from point A and go to point B," Fenton Township Fire Chief Ryan Volz said.

Crews responded to the lake late Tuesday but the search was called off until 8 a.m. Wednesday.

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