BY BRIAN McGILLIVARY
---- — TRAVERSE CITY — Area waters claimed the life of another swimmer, marking the sixth water-related drowning in the area this summer.
Grand Traverse County sheriff's officials on Friday reported a 58-year-old man from Alexandria, Va., disappeared as he attempted to swim from an island in Long Lake to the mainland near Timbers Trail on the lake's northeast corner.
The man and another swimmer started the journey together, but the man said he could not make it and turned back to the island. The other swimmer told deputies he looked back, but lost sight of the man and thought he'd perhaps made it back to the island.
Emergency personnel responded when the man couldn't be located on the island. The sheriff's department's dive team located the victim in about 50 feet of water between the mainland and the island.
Sheriff's officials did not release the man's name and said no other information was immediately available.
The death marks the second drowning in Long Lake Township and the sixth so far this year in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties.
A 16-year-old died in Grand Traverse Bay June 23 and two others recently died in canoe and kayak incidents off the Leelanau County coastline, including an 8-year-old boy who perished July 1 after spending more than an hour in chilly waters during a canoe trip with his father to and from North Manitou Island.
A 53-year-old Fife Lake man drowned while swimming in Fife Lake, also on June 23. A 17-year-old Traverse City West Senior High student drowned May 31 while swimming at North Twin Lake in Long Lake Township.