Officials believe East China Township man might have drowned in St. Clair River

Search for missing swimmer continues

Police said Riley Gleason was on a boat behind the St. Clair Inn when he jumped into the river.

EAST CHINA TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Police believe a 21-year-old East China Township man might have drowned after an incident in the St. Clair River around 9 p.m. Friday.

Police said Riley Gleason was on a boat behind the St. Clair Inn when he jumped into the river. Two people who were with Gleason said that he immediately began calling for help. One of the people, 21-year-old Carter Simons of China Township, said he threw a rope and then a flotation device to Gleason, but neither worked.

Simons then jumped into the water and was able to grab Gleason. But Gleason slipped away and went under water.

Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office Marine Division and a St. Clair Fire Department boat were called to the area Friday night.

The Sheriff’s Office Dive Team was dispatched shortly after a U.S. Coast Guard boat and helicopter also joined in the search. The search for Gleason continued until after 11 p.m. Friday.  

Divers were back in the water on Saturday morning searching the St. Clair River for nine hours, along with using sonar equipment.

The search continued on Sunday with divers in the water and sonar being used for a total of 12 and a half hours, but the body was never recovered. 

Members from the dive team were expected to continue the search Monday afternoon. Members of dive teams from Sanilac, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties are expected to help the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office Dive Team find the missing swimmer. 
 

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