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Man dies in boating accident

Charles Anthony Cooley Sr.

Charles Anthony Cooley Sr.

A 53-year-old Grand Rapids man drowned Saturday when the boat he was fishing in capsized.

Charles Anthony Cooley Sr. and his wife Deborah were fishing in a small aluminum rowboat on Chain Lake, in Oakfield Township, Saturday, June 7, when the accident occurred.

Police said the man shifted positions in the boat and the boat capsized. Both the husband and wife fell into the water. The two of them tried to get back into the boat. The husband went under water and never resurfaced. The wife grabbed a flotation device, swam to shore, and found a neighbor to call for help.

According to an interview in the Grand Rapids Press, the last thing the man reportedly told his wife was to swim. “He begged me to swim. He pleaded with me,” Deborah Cooley said. “He said, ‘Deborah, swim.’ I told him to swim with me. ‘Please swim with me.’ And he just went down.”

Charles Cooley was later recovered by rescue personnel. His death was due to drowning.

Public viewing is scheduled for Thursday, June 12, 2014 at Ivy K Gillespie Memorial Chapel, 1865 Eastern Ave. SE, Grand Rapids, from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, June 13, at Renaissance Church of God In Christ, 1001 33rd St. SE, at 11:00 a.m.


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