UPDATE: Crews find body of missing 17-year-old boy in Lake Chapin

By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
By: NewsCenter16 Staff Email
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Emergency crews have found the body of a 17-year-old boy who went missing while swimming in Lake Chapin on Monday.

Police say Tyler Albers of Iowa was swimming with his cousin near an old railroad bridge when the boy began to struggle.

The teen, who made it out of the water, called for help. Bystanders had already called police.

Boats and divers had been searching for Albers since 6:30 p.m. on Monday, but the search was suspended for the night. Crews resumed the search Tuesday morning.

At around 11:00 a.m., search crews found the teen's body near the bridge where he went missing.

"It was up river approximately 300 yards from the Berrien Springs dam near one of the old train abutments," Toliver said.

The discovery was tough for the officers because many of them have children around the same age.

"This one is kind of hitting home," said Capt. Paul Tolivers, from the Berrien County Sheriff's Department. "A lot of us are parents. People tend to swim to the abutments and jump off them. We'd like it if people didn't do that. However it does occur."

Emergency crews have not yet determined exactly what caused Albers to struggle while swimming.

He was in town from Iowa for the weekend, visiting family in Berrien Springs.

Berrien Springs residents tell Newscenter 16 that swimming in Lake Chapin is a summer tradition.

"You see people out there most of summer, particularly on hot days," said Katrina Hamel.

One resident said there is even a ladder on one of the abutments so people can climb up and then jump into the water.

While it is normal for teens to go into the water, there are some hazards.

"There's quite a bit of undertoe," Hamel said. "You can feel it when you're out there. It gets stronger as you get closer to the dam."

There were no life rings in sight near the drowning scene.

Toliver said there have been drownings in Lake Chapin in the past.

"It's difficult for a community like this to deal with these tragedies," Toliveer said. "We hope we don't have to do this again."

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