Body of Otwell man recovered from Patoka Lake

From local sources

PATOKA RESERVOIR — Divers recovered the body of an Otwell man from Patoka Reservoir on Saturday night after he dove into the lake and did not resurface.

The body of Anthony Catt, 43, was pulled to the surface just before 9 p.m. after Indiana conservation officers located him with an underwater camera.

According to officers, they responded shortly after 3 p.m. to the Goose Island area in Orange County after a caller reported Catt dove into the water from a pontoon boat and failed to resurface after striking his head on the boat.

Utilizing divers, sonar, and a Remote Operated Vehicle (R.O.V.) containing an underwater camera, the officers located Catt in nearly 20 feet of water, approximately 200 feet from shore.

An autopsy scheduled for today will determine an official cause of death.

According to officers, Catt was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident and alcohol is believed to have been a contributing factor.

The Orange County Emergency Management Agency, Patoka Reservoir personnel, IU Health Ambulance Service and the Orange County Coroner’s Office assisted at the scene.

Conservation officers who actually made a boating while intoxicated arrest as they were concluding their body-recovery dive operation strongly encouraged boaters to avoid excessive alcohol consumption when aboard watercraft. Anyone wishing to report possible impaired boaters can do so by contacting the conservation officers’ dispatch center at 812-837-9536.

There were three drownings at Patoka Reservoir last year, including a 23-year-old Evansville man and a 22-year-old Winslow man who drowned March 31 when the boat they were operating during a bow fishing tournament capsized. Then, on July 15, a 3-year-old Jefferson County boy drowned when he fell off one of several boats anchored together near the Little Patoka Boat Ramp.

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