Man walks off pier into Detroit River; body recovered

James David Dickson
The Detroit News

Detroit — Early Thursday morning on Detroit's east side, authorities recovered the body of a 35-year-old man who walked off a pier into the Detroit River.

At about 12:13 a.m., the Detroit Fire Department was alerted that a man, who had been spotted "with a beer in one hand, and a cigarette in the other," while also holding a cellphone, walked off the end of the pier at the Erma Henderson Marina on the 8800 block of East Jefferson, said Dave Fornell, a deputy commissioner at the Detroit Fire Department.

"It appears to be an accident," Fornell said.

Fornell said a fire boat was called to the scene, but was too large to maneuver in the space and had to be sent back. Ultimately, fire officials were on site "for hours," but left before the man's body was recovered.

The U.S. Coast Guard also assisted in the recovery effort.

"We established a rescue plan with small boat station Belle Isle and air station Detroit, who provided a helicopter asset," said Lt. Justin Bommer, a Coast Guard spokesman. 

Ultimately, though, it was the Detroit Police Department's dive team that recovered the man's body, Bommer said.

Detroit Police Department said the man's body was recovered just before 5:30 a.m.