By MIKE DONOGHUE
Islander Staff Writer
ALBURGH -- Authorities have found the body of a New York man who was missing and presumed drowned in Lake Champlain near the Alburgh Dunes State Park.
The body of Dennis Rabideau, 52, of Mooers Forks, N.Y. was located about 5 p.m. Thursday by state police divers, according to the Alburgh Volunteer Fire Department.
Rabideau will be taken to the office of the Vermont Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy on Friday, Fire Chief Ron Kumetz said. Grand Isle County State’s Attorney Doug DiSabito, who was at the scene, ordered an autopsy.
Rabideau had jumped off a pontoon boat and into the water to go for a swim about 6:20 p.m. Tuesday and never resurfaced, officials said. His companions tried to throw him lifelines to no avail, the fire department said.
First responders had searched Tuesday night and all day Wednesday with no luck.
The search resumed early Thursday morning with the Alburgh firefighters and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officials using the last known GPS tracking from the pontoon boat to start combing the area.
Rabideau and four other adults on the New York-registered boat departed from Chazy, N.Y. on Tuesday afternoon, Vermont State Police said.
The boat was near Alburgh Dunes State Park when Rabideau jumped into the water, police said. When Rabideau failed to resurface efforts by several other people on the vessel were unsuccessful in locating him.
Windy conditions pushed the boat away from Rabideau, and he was unable to return to the vessel, Detective Sgt. Richard Desany.
The Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department received the initial emergency call Tuesday evening and summoned several agencies.
Besides the sheriff’s department and state police, also part of the search were fire departments from Alburgh, Grand Isle, Isle La Motte, North Hero, Swanton, and Rouses Point, N.Y.; and a helicopter and motorboat from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.