MANISTEE—Divers recovered a Muskegon man's body in a Manistee lake at midday Saturday.
The body of George Paul Mika of Muskegon was recovered in Manistee Lake near the SS City of Milwaukee at 11:30 a.m. Saturday. Manistee Department of Public Safety Director David Bachman said he drowned as a result of an accident and that no foul play was suspected.
Mika was an employee of the Marquette Rail Co. and was president of the board of directors for the SS City of Milwaukee at the time of his death.
He was reported missing Friday evening and a search was conducted. Bachman said at the time there was evidence that Mika may have fallen into the water.
Mika's body was located early Saturday by the Manistee County dive team.
Bachman said Mika left work with the railroad at 10:30 p.m. Thursday and drove to Manistee to check on the boats. He was expected to spend the night due to the expected snowstorm and then to report for work at noon Friday. When he failed to show up for work, his co-workers began looking for him. They found Mika's car covered with snow in the SS City of Milwaukee parking lot.
Bachman said it's believed Mika either spent the night on the boat or planned to do so. Tracks in the snow suggest he spent time on the SS City of Milwaukee and then walked over to the retired Coast Guard boat moored next to the SS City of Milwaukee. One set of tracks went onto the boat and none left.
Bachman said Mika was known to jump from the boat's deck onto the raised dock when leaving the Coast Guard boat. However, the gangplank connecting the dock to the boat was not in place when officers arrived at the scene. It was then determined that he was not on the boat.
His body was located in 11 feet of water near a floating dock Saturday.