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UPDATE: Body of missing wind surfer found near Bear Lake

September 23, 2018

Manistee — First responders recovered the body of a Frankfort-area woman who went missing Friday afternoon while wind surfing on Bear Lake.

Police identified the 66-year-old deceased as Carolyn Skaff.

Volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Team found her body at about 9:40 a.m. today while searching along the Bear Lake shoreline north of U.S. 31, according to the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office.

An autopsy is scheduled for Sunday to determine the cause of death.

The search team included members from the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol, the Department of Natural Resources, Bear Lake Fire Department, Michigan State Police, Munson EMS and the Victims Services Unit.

Deputies from the Manistee County Sheriff’s Office were called at about 4:30 p.m. Friday to search for the missing woman.

She was wind surfing with her husband, who was too far away to help her, and he could not provide an exact location where she went down.

The husband claimed she was an excellent swimmer and wind surfer.

The surf board she was riding was found on the east shore of Bear Lake; but the sail has not yet been found.

The search team Friday included local first responders as well as a Coast Guard helicopter from Traverse City.

Munson EMS and the Bear Lake Fire Department searched the ground around the lake.

High, gusty winds and 3-foot waves made searching difficult. The search was suspended at dark and began again this morning.

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