Calhoun County’s dive team is taking its boat and sonar equipment into the Kalamazoo River downtown tonight, as first responders search for a 19-year-old Olivet man who fell into the river near its convergence with the Battle Creek River.
EMS, fire, and police were called to the scene just before 7 p.m. Police said the man and several friends were in the parking lot north of Hamblin Avenue, west of the convergence. One friend dropped her purse, and the man fell into the river trying to retrieve it. Police believe he could not swim.
Another friend jumped in after him, but did not reach the man. The friend was able to get out of the river.
The water is about 20 feet deep at the convergence, with a swift current. Due to these factors, along with the hours that have passed, officials believe this is a recovery mission, and no longer a rescue. The initial Battle Creek Fire and Police search, including BCFD’s Boat 4 and the BCPD drone, did not locate the man.
While the dive team likely will continue the search with sonar into the night, officials don’t expect a dive to take place until morning, after daylight.