FIFE LAKE — A man was pronounced dead Saturday after being pulled from the shallows of Fife Lake’s beach access.

The 60-year-old man — a local — had trekked to the spot for an afternoon excursion with his grandchildren, said Fife Lake Springfield Fire Chief Scott Tinker. He was found unresponsive beneath the surface around 1:40 p.m.

“He went down to get a ball or a toy,” Tinker said. “And when he went down, he never came back up.”

Passersby noticed and pulled the man from the waves, Tinker added, rendering emergency care as first responders raced to the scene — Tinker’s crews were on their way back from another call at the time. Luckily, he said, the week and weekend of the Fourth of July meant all hands were on deck.

A packed beach watched the scene unfold.

“In reality, it was kind of a good thing — people were able to pull him out,” Tinker said.

The man had only been missed for a few moments before being discovered, said Sheriff’s Department Capt. Chris Clark.

“They’re like ‘Hey, where’s so-and-so?’ And then they found him,” Clark said.

The beach employs no lifeguards, said Tinker, whose crews were joined on the scene by Grand Traverse Sheriff’s deputies, Fife Lake EMS, the Fife Lake Water Rescue Team and other first responders.

The man was pronounced dead at Kalkaska Hospital.

A police report is still being completed and investigators await results from the medical examiner, Clark said, before sharing more information.

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