A man's body was recently discovered 225 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan, completely mummified 13 years after a dive went terribly wrong. The diver's body had been preserved by the cool temperature of the water, the pressure and the lack of oxygen. His diving gear was still on and his air tanks were attached.
In September 1999, Dirk Kann went diving in Whitefish Bay, Wis., with experienced diving pals Greg Olsen and Richard Boyd. The three set out to explore and photograph the Lakeland, a 2,425-ton steamer that sank in the lake in 1924. The steamer was carrying a load of cars, many of which are still intact. Together the trio had visited the sunken treasure more than 20 times.
Kann and Olsen went down to explore the ship while Boyd stayed back. During the dive, Olsen had a problem with his air tank, and the two had to head up to the surface. Kann's tank emptied on the way up, forcing the pair to share Olsen's. But it wasn't enough for both men, and Kann began to fade away. Olsen glanced down on his way up but eventually lost track of Kann. The Guttenberg, Iowa, native was 52 when he died.
Kann's body proved difficult to find because of the extreme depth of the shipwreck. According to the Daily Mail, at one point several years ago the body was hooked by a fisherman but subsequently released.
Finally, two divers in Whitefish Bay spotted the body last weekend and pulled it to shore.
"We made numerous attempts through the years to try to recover him with technological advancements. We used some of that to go down there, but his remains weren't found until Saturday," said Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel. "He still had his diving gear on, in fact."
Kann's wife, Rose, told the Daily Mail that the family was relieved to hear that Dirk's body was found, but she was having trouble speaking about it. She said no memorial or service is planned.