Fort Wayne Fire Department divers were called to the scene at around 2:30 p.m. Police officers restricted access to media and children at the site while divers searched for the victim. He was recovered at around 3 p.m., according to police scanner traffic. Palm was found in about 10 feet of water approximately 30 feet from shore, according to the DNR.
The private lake at Kekionga Shores is different from most subdivision lakes in Allen County in that those who live in Kekionga Shores and their guests can swim at the beach there or use the lake for boating.
Private lake rulesThe Kekionga Shores association sent beach and lake rules to residents June 10. The association does not assume responsibility for accidents, and use of the beach and lake are at the residents’ own risk. The beach and lake are to be used by members of the homeowners association and their guests only.
Unaccompanied visitors are considered trespassers, according to the association’s rules.
At this time it is not known if Palm was a guest of a Kekionga homeowner.
Residents of Kekionga Shores can even ski on the lake. Watercraft on the lake must be owned by a member of the association or by a guest of a member.
Skiing is allowed, but the association requested those with boats limit high-speed operations (including skiing) to one hour at a time.
Heidenreich said watercraft on public lakes are restricted to a top speed of 10 mph on lakes of 300 acres or less, although property owners can petition for restricted hours for skiing.
But privately owned lakes such as Kekionga are exempt from that rule and are free to set their own rules.
“We encourage everyone, whether going in the water or just being around the water, to wear a Coast Guard-approved life jacket,” Heidenreich said, “and never swim alone.”