Left in gear, the boat ultimately left the man behind.
A New Jersey man drowned in Lake Tahoe in August, and his cell phone camera caught the entire incident on video.
Ryan Normoyle, 29, was on a three-week-long vacation in California when he decided to rent a boat on Lake Tahoe and go for a swim. However, the events that unfolded over the next couple hours were extremely tragic.
Normoyle was apparently recording himself on video when he dove into the lake, not realizing he had left the boat in gear. It drove off without him, with the video recording him chasing after it before finally drowning. Everything was caught on film.
The empty boat crashed onto the banks of Glenbrook, Nevada, where police uncovered the video footage. They determined Normoyle's location based on GPS data and proceeded to search him out, eventually seeking help from Bruce's Legacy, a nonprofit group known for search and recovery, after weeks of not being able to find him.
After a month of looking, the group was able to locate Normoyle's body, 1,500 feet underwater in a deep crevice. It is consdered the deepest recovery on the North American continent. It took over three days to retrieve his corpose, due to the threat of hazardous waves.
Lt. Travis Cabral of South Lake Tahoe's Police Department had some chilling words upon seeing the video footage: "The cellphone video basically shows him jumping off the boat. ... It looks like he was playing around playing in the water, didn't know the boat was in gear, and he wasn't able to make it back to the boat."
Although the situation resulted in tragedy, police are relieved they were able to retrieve Normoyle's body, with Cabral saying, "To be able to call the parents and tell them we brought their son home is what it's all about."
We can't imagine the terror Normoyle must have felt when he realized he wouldn't be able to swim fast enough to catch up with the boat. But we, too, are glad that they were able to find his body, for the sake of his family.