River rescue crews and search dogs found the body of a 31-year-old man who fell off of a pontoon boat and into the Allegheny River Wednesday.
Authorities said they began searching about 9 p.m. Wednesday in Harmar Township near Hancock Camp Road. They resumed searching Thursday morning.
According to Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE, George McBriar, coordinator of Allegheny County’s Swift Water and Flood Response Team, said a dive team found the body after a cadaver dog picked up his scent just after 11 a.m.
“He was (found) within 20 feet of where the witnesses saw him go under,” McBriar said.
The medical examiner was called to the scene and identified the man as Michael Schultz.
“Witnesses said the man fell off a boat and went in the water,” Harmar Police Chief Jason Domaratz said. “The driver of the boat attempted to rescue him with negative results.”
Schultz’s family told authorities Wednesday that he’s not a very good swimmer and they feared the worst.
Sean Fitzmaurice was fishing nearby at the time of the accident and said he saw the man fall into the water.
“The pontoon boat came flying down the river and they stopped. Then the one guy just fell off the boat and he started thrashing around and everybody was just watching him,” Fitzmaurice said. “Then, finally, he went under and his buddy dove in after him. A couple of minutes went by and he didn’t come back up.”
An autopsy is planned on Schultz’s body to determine the cause of death.