Cause of death still undetermined for boater

An autopsy has been completed on the body of a man pulled out of the Grand River Saturday evening, but the cause of his death is still undetermined, Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Chief Roger DeYoung said late this morning. Michael Kirby, 51, of Coopersville, died sometime late Friday night or early Saturday morning when he fell into the water behind his boat docked at the Village Cove Marina, 900 W. Savidge St. in Spring Lake. Kirby was last seen by friends after 10:30 p.m. Friday at the Holiday Inn, police reported. He was discovered missing Saturday morning.
Becky Vargo
Aug 24, 2011

Friends looked for him throughout the day, then called police, saying they had located one of his sandals on the dock and another floating nearby in the water.

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department Marine Patrol located Kirby’s body with a side-scan sonar, and used a robot to help raise it to the surface.

The body was taken to Holland Hospital for an autopsy.

“He did have water in his lungs, so he was alive when he went into the water,” DeYoung said. “He also did have severe coronary artery disease.”

DeYoung said the man had also been drinking throughout the day, but it was unknown if the alcohol or the heart disease was the cause of him falling in the water.

The investigation is continuing and police are still waiting for the toxicology reports.

DeYoung said the death was not considered suspicious.

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