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Cass County MI Sheriff's Office
Wednesday June 29th, 2022 :: 05:12 p.m. EDT


Boating Accident/Water Rescue

Boating Accident/Water Rescue
Sheriff Richard J. Behnke reports, on 06/28/2022 at 1046hrs his office was called to Cass County’s Diamond Lake, Penn Township for a water rescue. The investigation shows Bruce McCartney, 74-year-old, from South Bend, Indiana was operating his 16-foot Lund boat on the south end of Diamond Lake near Diamond Island’s ferry, when he crashed into a Nitro fishing boat. The Nitro boat was occupied by owner Gene Delaforet, 70-year-old from St Joseph, Michigan and passenger Richard Knapp Jr, 73-year-old from Three Oaks, Michigan.
McCartney’s passenger, Robert Schmitt, 86 year old male from South Bend was ejected from the boat and unconscious in the water. McCartney’s boat remained under power and circled Delaforet’s boat multiple times until McCartney could regain control of the boat. Delaforet and Knapp then pulled Schmitt from the water. McCartney’s boat was slowly taking on water because of the crash. A Cass County Marine Unit arrived on scene and assisted getting the subjects and boats back to shore where Schmitt was treated for his injuries.
Personal Floatation Devices were available on board both vessels but were not used at the time of the accident. This accident remains under investigation and alcohol was not a factor in the crash.
Cass County Deputies were assisted on scene by nearby residents, the Penn Township Fire Department and Pride Care Ambulance.

Cass County MI Sheriff's Office
321 Michigan 62
Cassopolis, MI 49031

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 269-445-1560

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