ACTUAL PHOTO OF RECOVERED BODY: Dirk Kann was found in his diving gear more than 200 feet below the surface of Lake Michigan.
The mystery of a diver’s 1999 disappearance was solved when his mummified body was pulled from the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.
Two divers in Whitefish Bay, Wis., found 52-year-old Dirk Kann – still clad in his diving gear – 225 feet below the surface Saturday, WLUK-TV reported.
Scuba-diving expert Alan Pahnke said the 36-degree temperatures at that depth would preserve a body for years.
“There's not a lot of oxygen down there," he explained. "Plus the cold, it's like a refrigerator, [A body will] keep for quite a while."
Kann was an experienced diver, according to the Door County Advocate.
He went on a dive to the Lakeland shipwreck with a friend on Sept. 4, 1999. As they were surfacing, both men experienced trouble. Kann decided to hang on the line 80 feet below the surface to decompress from the 175-foot dive, the Advocate said. Decompression is necessary to prevent the buildup of nitrogen bubbles in the blood after deep dives.
His partner continued up, but when he reached the surface there was no sign of Kann.
The Lakeland is a popular dive spot because it’s a steamship that sank in 1924 and carried a load of what are now nearly 90-year-old cars, but Pahnke said it is considered a “technical dive” because the wreck is so deep.
“You need much more training to go down there than a normal sport diver would," he said.
Attempts have been made over the years to recover Kann’s body, but none were successful until Saturday, according to Door County Sheriff Terry Vogel.