East Hampton Town Marine Patrol and East Hampton Town Ocean...

East Hampton Town Marine Patrol and East Hampton Town Ocean Rescue search for the body of a missing boater in Fort Pond in Montauk on Monday. Credit: Gordon M. Grant

Police divers have recovered the body of a boater who went missing Sunday in Fort Pond in Montauk, East Hampton Town police said. 

Police said Jeffrey B. Gantt, 42, of Manhattan, had left a row boat in an effort to retrieve an oar that had fallen overboard, but then was unable to swim back to the boat. He went under at about 7:54 p.m., police said.

East Hampton police, along with the East Hampton Town Marine Patrol, the Montauk Fire Department, Sag Harbor Fire Department and East Hampton Ocean Rescue, searched through the night without success before those efforts were temporarily suspended. The East Hampton Police Dive Team, as well as the Suffolk County Sheriff's Office Drone Unit and Marine Unit and an aviation unit from Suffolk County Police, resumed the search of the pond Monday. Gantt's body was located in 30 feet of water at about 5:15 p.m., police said.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner's Office will conduct an autopsy to determine a cause of death. East Hampton Town detectives are continuing their investigation.

The 192-acre freshwater pond is located north of Sunrise Highway and south of the Long Island Rail Road tracks west of Lake Montauk. According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, it maintains a boat ramp at the south end of the pond, which is used by recreational row boaters, paddle-boaters, sailboaters, kayakers and canoe enthusiasts, as well as fresh-water anglers.

The DEC said while the pond has an average depth of about 8½ feet it has drop offs and submerged boulders.

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