The body of a scuba diver was recovered from Devil’s Lake on Sunday, according to a press release from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Authorities said family members reported not hearing from Mark R. Gant, 53, of Oregon, after he had gone diving. DNR staff reported finding Gant after locating his diver’s flag on the surface of the lake. A diving flag is a floating red flag with a white diagonal stripe across it that indicates the presence of a submerged diver.
Gant was pronounced dead at the scene by the Sauk County coroner.
“It was unfortunate,” said Devil’s Lake State Park Superintendent Steve Schmelzer.
Schmelzer said he could recall only one other scuba diving death in the park, which occurred about 12 years ago. Scuba diving is popular at Devil’s Lake, he said.
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“We get a lot of them (scuba divers),” Schmelzer said. “They come for the water clarity and visibility.”
He said scuba divers also appreciate that no gas-powered boats are allowed on the lake. Schmelzer could not say whether Gant was alone at the time of the incident, but Schmelzer said solo scuba diving is not encouraged.
“One of the recommendations is that they scuba dive with someone else,” he said.
A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources spokesperson declined to answer any other questions about the incident.
”Our thoughts are with the family,” DNR External Communications Section Chief Jennifer Sereno said.