Ohio man dies exploring Lake Erie shipwreck

An Ohio man died Saturday while exploring a shipwreck in Lake Erie.

The United States Coast Guard initially announced that a 70-year-old man was missing in the lake around 4 p.m. on Saturday. The search was focused on an area about 6 miles off the coast of Cleveland.

Multiple agencies joined in the search, but the man’s body was discovered by local divers.

“At 7:45 local, divers from Lake County recovered a body & confirmed it to be the missing man,” USCG Great Lakes said on social media. His was found near the the East 9th Street pier, the Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said.

The man was identified as Dave VanZandt, the founder, director and chief archaeologist at Cleveland Underwater Explorers. The organization documents shipwrecks in the Great Lakes.

He was “on [his] first trip of the year, diving on a newly found shipwreck” when he “failed to return to the boat and suffered a fatal diving accident,” the organization said on social media.

“Our condolences to his wife and family.”

No information has been released about what caused VanZandt’s death on the dive.

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