By Vicky Wedig


The body of an Illinois man who went missing while swimming on Delavan Lake on July 22 was recovered in about 38 feet of water at about 9 a.m. July 23.

Town of Delavan Police Chief Ray Clark said divers found the body of Scott Apel, 49, of Arlington Heights, Ill., in the northeast portion of the lake about 500 to 1,000 feet off the shoreline in the area of the 2200 to 2300 block of South Shore Drive.

Apel was reported missing at 11:08 p.m. July 22 while swimming with friends off a 21-foot Crestliner sport fish boat, Clark said.

Clark said Apel and three friends left Lake Lawn Resort on the boat and three of them jumped into the water for a swim. The friends told police Apel was getting back in to the boat from the water but fell back into the lake and went missing, he said.

Delavan police sent out its marine unit, which immediately went into search mode, Clark said. The unit searched for Apel via boat and divers searched the water until about 3:30 a.m. July 23, he said. Clark said divers can only be out for a certain amount of time before they must suspend a search because of fatigue. Divers resumed the search at 5:30 a.m. and found Apel’s body at about 9 a.m.

The Delavan township rescue squad, cities of Delavan and Elkhorn police, Walworth County Sheriff’s Department, state Department of Natural Resources, the City of Delavan, Linn, Lake Geneva, Elkhorn and Williams Bay fire departments, and the Air One helicopter from the Round Lake Beach, Ill., Police Department and assisted in the search and recovery. Clark said although the outcome was not what police hoped for, the matter was handled expeditiously.

“I think that all the jurisdictions worked very well together to quickly resolve this whole thing,” he said.

The state Department of Natural Resources is handling the investigation, and official cause of death will not be known until an autopsy is completed, Clark said.

He said police do not know whether alcohol was a factor but no foul play is suspected. Abel was not wearing a life preserver.

Clark cautions swimmers and boaters to be safe by wearing life jackets, being mindful of other boats and knowing their own limitations.

“Just be careful,” he said.


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