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Man Dies After Falling In Suburban Lake While Boating With Daughter

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Dave Azooz (Family Photo)

Dave Azooz (Family Photo)

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ANTIOCH, Ill. (CBS) – A north suburban family was mourning the death of a father of four, after he apparently drowned when he fell into a lake in unincorporated Antioch Township on Tuesday.

Described by a family friend as “a jack of all trades,” and a lover of water sports – from jet skiing to boating – 47-year-old Dave Azooz spent a lot of time on Lake Marie, just outside Antioch.

CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports Azooz lived right next to the lake, and took his daughter out on the water Tuesday night. The boat’s engine failed, and Azooz tried to fix it, but fell overboard, and never made it back to the surface.

His daughter called 911 around 6:20 p.m., and soon after divers jumped in.

“Because the enhanced 911 call gave us a great latitude-longitude point as a last-seen point for the individual, it was in the general vicinity of where he was initially reported in the water,” Antioch Deputy Fire Chief Chris Lienhardt said.

Unfortunately, after an hour, even with sonar equipment, divers couldn’t find Azooz.

“The challenge divers had is the visibility. All the divers came up and reported zero visibility. They couldn’t even read their gauges, holding them up to their face,” Lienhardt said.

By nightfall, the mission turned from rescue to recovery, and divers finally retrieved Azooz’s body at 10:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The Azooz family has asked for privacy, and issued a statement about Azooz’s death:

“We have many difficulties to face in the coming days and we ask for time in making this decision; and mourn our beloved husband, father, and friend,” they said. “Dave was an amazing father, a caring husband, and a great friend to all. We would like to especially thank all the countless men and women from all the rescue agencies that aided in the recovery of Dave.”

Illinois Conservation Police were handling the investigation. An autopsy was scheduled for Wednesday.

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