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FABIUS TOWNSHIP, Michigan — A Highland man drowned Friday while boating on a Michigan lake, according to a news release from the St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department. 

Witnesses told deputies they saw Clarence E. Payne, 55, fall off his boat and into Clear Lake, located in Fabius Township, according to the release. They tried to reach Payne but were unsuccessful. 

The incident occurred about 4 p.m. Friday. Members of the St. Joseph County Sheriff Department's Dive Rescue and Recovery Team were able to quickly locate Payne after witnesses gave an accurate location of where he was last seen.

He was recovered in about eight feet of water and brought to shore, according to the release. Emergency personnel were unable to resuscitate Payne and he was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Deputies were assisted by local residents, St. Joseph County Dive Rescue and Recovery, Three Rivers Fire Department, Fabius Park Townships Fire Department and St. Joseph County Sheriff's Department Victim Services Unit. 

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Northlake County Reporter

Lauren covers North Lake County government, breaking news, crime and environmental issues for The Times. She previously worked at The Herald-News in Joliet. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs Reporting.