The Vermont State Police are investigating the death of a 68-year-old Essex man whose body was found Tuesday about 40 yards from shore in Lake Champlain near North Hero.
Police said the body of Michael Dattilio was recovered in 14 feet of water by police scuba drivers shortly after 8:00 p.m.
“He was a fisherman; that’s what he was doing,” Vermont State Police Capt. Bob Cushing said. “I think his intent — I’m just speculating here, but I think his intent was to fish that area.”
State police received a report at about 2:00 p.m. that the man’s aluminum fishing boat had been found near a railroad bridge that connects North Hero and Alburgh. Police said a cell phone and other personal items were on board.
Authorities said Dattilio was familiar with the area. An autopsy will be performed in Burlington to determine the cause of death.
“From this point forward, it’ll be a death investigation done by the Vermont State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigations,” Cushing said.
Search and rescue crews, including a team from the Coast Guard and a Customs and Border Patrol helicopter, used the North Hero Marina as a staging area.