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Body of Bellevue man recovered from Lake Washington

A Mercer Island police boat on Lake Washington. (Photo courtesy of Bellevue Fire Dept/Twitter)

A rescue mission turned into a recovery effort Wednesday after Bellevue Fire Department officials say a man drowned in Lake Washington while trying to save a child.

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Mercer Island’s Marine Patrol took over the investigation and returned to work Thursday with a diving company to bring the man up from waters estimated to be about 100 feet deep.

The man had jumped into the water near Maydenbauer Bay on Wednesday, June 16, to try and save his child, who went overboard. The child is OK.

As units arrived on scene, it was reported that a male suspect had rented a motorboat and was out on the lake with his two adult friends and his two young children, ages 6 and 4. One of the children, who was wearing a life jacket, fell off the boat and into the water. The father entered the water to assist his child, but was not wearing a life jacket.

A group from the local sailing club was passing the area and pulled the child from the water. One of the other sailing club members attempted to rescue the father, but he submerged and did not come back from the surface.

Bellevue Fire Department’s Lt. Camari Olson said Wednesday that the rescue operation had to be suspected because the waters are more than 100 feet deep in that area, and the divers just can’t go to those depths.

“Where the victim slipped underwater, he was in over 100 feet, and at that point it was determined that we would not be able to enact a rescue,” Olson told KIRO Radio. “And he had been underwater that that point for up to 15 minutes.”

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