Man swimming after drifting speedboat goes missing

November 02, 2011 at 12:45 PM

SPRING BAY - A man disappeared Tuesday afternoon in the Illinois River while swimming to retrieve a speedboat that floated away from the sandbar where it had been docked about a half-mile north of the village.

The Peoria Dive Team searched for the missing boater for about three hours before suspending the search around 7 p.m. The search is scheduled to resume Wednesday morning.

The Spring Bay Fire Department responded to an initial call at 3:45 p.m. The Peoria Dive Team, Chillicothe Dive Team and Peoria Fire Department eventually provided assistance.

Capt. Mike Gordon of the Spring Bay Fire Department said three men were on board the small craft when it docked.

The other two remained on shore during the incident, multiple sources said.

The Illinois River water temperature Tuesday near Spring Bay was 52 degrees, increasing the possibility of hypothermia.