SOUTH BUFFALO TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The body of a man who drowned while jet skiing over the weekend has been found.
The Armstrong County coroner confirmed a body was found in the river Wednesday and it is the man crews have been looking for since Sunday.
The body was found near the Schenley Marina, which is about 2 and a half miles downstream from where the victim went under.
“Freeport Boats, along with other fire companies, made the recovery and brought him to shore where we were there to meet them,” said Armstrong County Coroner Brian Myers.
According to officials at the scene, the incident happened about a mile upriver from Murphy Island around 4 p.m. Sunday.
Duane Uzmack, 40, of Penn Hills, and a young male relative fell off their jet ski when it overturned.
The young male was rescued by relatives in a pontoon boat. The man was seen bobbing in the water before he went under.
He was wearing a life jacket, but officials say it slipped off because it wasn’t fastened properly.
“If it has buckles, buckle it. If it has snaps, snap it. Keep it on,” said Sheriff Bill Rupert, of Armstrong County. “Nobody knows what would have happened if he’d had it on, but it’s on you for a reason – keep you buoyant, keep you afloat.
The life jacket was recovered several hundred feet from where the man went under.
Divers returned to assist in the recovery on Monday, but authorities said finding the victim would be difficult because of river conditions. It was three days of intense searching and operations were especially dangerous for dive teams.
“They could be at one spot at 19 feet, the next thing they could be dropping to 63 feet,” said Randy Brozenick, the director of Armstrong County Emergency Services.
The body was finally spotted by a passing Army Corps of Engineers work vessel.