WKBN News wrote:Bazetta Police confirmed the body of Daniel Khalil Jr., 35, was pulled from Mosquito Lake around 5:30 Saturday afternoon. According to The Tribune Chronicle, Khalil was a Pittsburgh native who recently relocated to the area. Khalil was one of three who fell out of a boat early Saturday morning and into Mosquito Lake.
The Bazetta Fire Department said the men were duck hunting in a boat near Mosquito Creek Lake in an area just west of Main Street in Cortland.
"People on the west shore who were ducking hunting heard screaming from duck hunters on the lake," said Chief Dennis Lewis.
The cries for help, just before 6:30 a.m., launched a full fledged rescue operation. Over sixty personnel from more than a dozen agencies participated in the search.
Something caused the three men in the boat to go overboard. Officials said the boat may have been overloaded and a lower than normal lake level could have contributed.
"There's submerged stumps and hazards that people wouldn't be able to negotiate around in these kind of conditions," said Dianne Kolodziejski, with the Corps of Engineers, Mosquito Lake.
The windy and colder weather could have also contributed to the accident, something Bazetta's Fire Chief said posed immediate dangers.
"It was unsafe to be out today. It's just risky to do and sometimes we need to...if we're going to take those risks we need to have the proper gear," said Lewis.
At Mosquito Lake, 73 people have drowned and none of those were wearing a life jacket. Officials said that was the case for the three duck hunters who went into the water.
Mecca Township firefighters managed to rescue two of the men about a hour after they went overboard. They were taken to St. Joseph Health Center in Warren for treatment.
A desperate search utilizing divers, boats with sonar equipment and cadaver dogs was put to the test. Sandra Lesko and her K-9 partner, Dock was one of the teams out searching the waters.
"The dog can't pinpoint where the body is at, but he can say yes there's a body in a general area," said Lesko. "Basically, what the dog is indicating on is the gases coming from the body. And they're rising to the surface."