Oakland County divers find man’s $80,000 prosthetic leg 48 feet underwater in Sunrise Lake

Dive team recovers prosthesis after short search

Oakland County divers recovered a man’s $80,000 prosthetic leg after it fell off and plunged 48 feet to the bottom of Sunrise Lake in Milford Township.

MILFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich.Oakland County divers recovered a man’s $80,000 prosthetic leg after it fell off and plunged 48 feet to the bottom of Sunrise Lake in Milford Township.

Officials said Brandon Smith, his 6-year-old son, and his brother-in-law went for a float Sunday (July 10) at Sunrise Lake.

When his son, Stone Christopher, jumped off their raft and into the lake, his father’s $80,000 prosthetic leg somehow became detached and sunk to the bottom, according to authorities.

“He tried, but he just couldn’t get it,” said Jim McIntosh, Smith’s brother-in-law.

Smith had undergone 17 surgeries to repair his leg after he fell from a tree while hunting six years ago, police said. He’d received the prosthetic leg about a month ago.

The family called the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and asked for help. Members of the dive team met with the family Monday for about 40 minutes and used GPS coordinates to try pinpoint where to search.

On Wednesday, after less than 10 minutes in the water, Deputy Justin Wiegand recovered the prosthesis at a depth of 48 feet, officials said. It was in “surprisingly good shape” when he returned it to Smith, deputies said.

“You guys came to the rescue,” McIntosh said. “They were so professional. They were so good. It was a wonderful experience.”

Smith took the prosthesis to the hospital for an examination.

“Our dive team does an amazing job in a variety of conditions and circumstances,” Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. “In this incident, they were able to make a big quality of life difference for this gentleman, who obviously would be greatly negatively impacted by the loss of his prosthetic leg. I’m proud of their work every day and especially in this circumstance.”


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