SHELBY TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Rescue crews have suspended their search Monday afternoon after a young man appears to have drowned at Stony Creek Metropark Sunday evening.
“They were pushing everyone off the water and telling people to get off the boats,” said Raechel Hensler who was at the beach and nearby with friends.
The dive team with the Macomb County Sheriff’s Department searched an area of the beach by the paddleboat and canoe rentals. Crews searched the area where friends of the young man last saw him go into the water off the paddleboat that they had rented.
We are being told the missing man is 21-year-old Malcolm Robert Fairley, an Army reservist and father of a one-year-old boy.
“They were out paddling on the boat and he made the decision to dive into the water without the life vest on,” said Chief George Phifer of Huron-Metroparks Police Department.
Witnesses said that after Fairley dove into the water, he surfaced at least once. He was screaming for help and clearly struggling to stay afloat. Three other people were on the paddleboat with him at the time.
“A kid said that he seen him with his hands up in the air trying to get help and then one of his friends jumped in after him and couldn’t get him,” said Hensler.
People say the friend who tried to jump in and rescue his buddy quickly became distraught when he could not find him.
“He was out there for the longest time trying to look over at the boat until they all came, the police and everybody came,” said Chantel Daum, another person nearby at the beach at the time. “He was just crying hysterically, holding his head and everything,” she said.
Rescue crews used sonar equipment to search an area of water 8-15 feet deep for Fairley, but after three hours, they still could not find him.