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Clinton Lake

The body of Michael Dailey, 63, of Peoria, was recovered Thursday in this area of Clinton Lake in DeWitt County. Conservation police said Tuesday Dailey drowned after trying to retrieve his boat that had floated away.

CLINTON — A Peoria man who drowned last week at Clinton Lake was trying to retrieve his boat that had floated away, authorities said Tuesday.

Michael R. Dailey, 63, was launching his bass boat from the Mascoutin Boat Ramp when, as he was putting it in the water, the boat floated away, said Sgt. John Williamson of the Illinois Conservation Police.

Williamson said Dailey went into the water in an attempt to retrieve it, but the boat drifted away faster than Dailey could swim. Police said the wind was about 10 mph when the accident occurred about 11 a.m. Thursday.

“After about 50 to 60 yards, he started to have trouble” and went below the surface, said Williamson.

Dive teams from Hudson and Decatur responded and recovered Dailey's body. He was pronounced dead at 1:40 p.m., police said.

A woman who was in the boat at the time was not injured, according to police.

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An autopsy on Friday found water in Dailey's lungs, and death was attributed to drowning, although it's not yet known if another medical problem contributed to him having trouble swimming, said Williamson.

This was the first fatal accident at Clinton Lake since 2014.

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Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota


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