Emergency teams continue search for missing man

Emergency teams continue search for missing man on the Tittabawassee River.
Emergency teams continue search for missing man on the Tittabawassee River.(WNEM TV5)
Published: Feb. 12, 2023 at 11:45 AM EST
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THOMAS TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WNEM) - A water rescue has become a recovery mission following reports of a capsized boat Sunday morning, according to the Thomas Township Fire Department.

Fire Chief Mike Cousins said first responders were notified around 1:30 a.m. that a boat with two occupants capsized on the Tittabawassee River close to the bridge on Gratiot Road.

Thomas Township Fire and Police Departments responded to the scene, along with the Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department, Saginaw Township and James Township Fire Departments, and the Saginaw County Sheriff dive team.

The Saginaw County Sheriff’s Department said that the boat had started to take on water, and one of the passengers was attempted to get the motor back running when his clothing got tangled. The other passenger was able to free his friend’s clothing, but he starting taking water into his overalls.

Investigators said the 23-year-old man from Saginaw Township started taking off his clothes and swimming for shore. The man said he saw his friend go under and not resurface.

Cousins said that rescuers used sonar equipment that is able to see under the water.

“Unfortunately, we had to switch from a rescue to recovery,” Cousins said.

Sunday afternoon the Saginaw County Sheriff’s office identified the missing man as Nathan James Robbins, a 26-year-old man from Tittabawassee Township.

Investigators do not know why they were on a boat or how it capsized, but they do believe the incident to be accidental.

Thomas Township Public Safety is asking residents to avoid Gratiot Road to help keep the emergency scene safe for responders.

Recovery efforts are continuing.

Stay with TV5 on the air and online for updates on this developing story.

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