The Bay County Sheriff says the search for a missing man has now turned into a recovery mission.
Troy Cunningham, the Bay County Sheriff, said he believes Cole Zielinski is deceased, and his body is somewhere in the Saginaw Bay.
Cunningham said crews are searching about a half-mile offshore from an area between the Bay City Park and the Kawkawlin River. Cunningham said at this point he doesn’t believe there is any foul play.
According to investigators, on Sunday, Zielinski went to the back of the boat to stop his dog from jumping into the water. When he did that, he fell overboard and by the time his fiancé realized where he was, he was already 20 feet away. By the time Zielinski’s fiancé turned the boat around, he was already gone. She told authorities he had a life jacket. At this point, no life jacket has been recovered.
Investigators are wondering if Zielinski may have had the life jacket on, but it wasn’t secured to his body, resulting in it floating away.
Cunningham said crews will continue to look for Zielinksi’s body until he is found so his family can get some closure.
If anyone is out on the bay and sees something that looks off, call 911.