July 24, 2016

Intermittent clouds

Copley man in diving accident dies

CLEVELAND — A 19-year-old Copley man has died from injuries he received after diving off a boat into shallow water Wednesday afternoon at Chippewa Lake.

Wesly Chao died at MetroHealth Medical Center, a hospital spokeswoman said Friday. She declined to say whether Chao, who was listed in critical condition Thursday night, died Friday morning or late Thursday.

Chao was boating with a group of friends around 5 p.m. Wednesday when he dove head-first off a pontoon into water 33 inches deep, according to watercraft specialist Rich McCullough, of the Cleveland office of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Watercraft.

McCullough said witnesses reported seeing Chao appear above water after he dived in, but his friends did not realize he was hurt until they couldn’t find him a few minutes later.

They found Chao in the water not too far from the boat, which was docked at the time, McCullough said. Witnesses estimated he was in the water about 10 minutes.

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