Dive team recovers body of swimmer who went missing in icy pond in Wareham

Authorities found the man's remains Monday afternoon.

Tyler Reardon for Plymouth County Technical Rescue Team
Plymouth County Technical Rescue Team divers search a bog in Wareham for a person who went missing on Sunday, Feb. 21. –Tyler Reardon for Plymouth County Technical Rescue Team

Update: The man has been identified as 44-year-old Thomas Bartholomew, of Wareham, according to the Plymouth District Attorney’s Office. Authorities noted that Bartholomew’s body was found “along the shoreline under a thick layer of ice.” Foul play isn’t suspected. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner is working to determine how Bartholomew died.

The body of a man who went swimming in an icy pond in Wareham on Sunday has been found, according to authorities.

“Obviously this is not the outcome we were looking for but we did recover the body of the male that had jumped into the water,” Wareham Police Chief John Walcek said during a press conference Monday afternoon.


The body was found around 12:30 p.m. Monday by members of the Wareham Fire Department, and the Plymouth County Technical Rescue Dive Team, Patrick Haskell, assistant fire chief in Wareham, said.

Contrary to earlier reports that he had fallen through the ice, the man reportedly went swimming in the area and had done so in the past, according to authorities who gave an update to reporters earlier Monday. Wareham Assistant Fire Chief John Kelley noted at the time that swimming in the pond, located near 786 county Road, was something the man “did on a normal basis.”

The pond is usually used to flood cranberry bogs, according to WCVB.

The man’s identity has not been released publicly, but his family has been notified, Walcek said.

When the man didn’t come out of the water, friends called authorities, NBC10 Boston reported.

Authorities began searching around 4:30 p.m. on Sunday and continued efforts into the evening.

The search was halted around 12:30 a.m., not long after it had been switched to a recovery mission around 11 p.m., according to NBC10.

“The water is murky,” Wareham Assistant Fire Chief Patrick Haskell told the news station. “Stumps, trees and other objects are in there, so there’s a lot of hazards they’re trying to get around. Plus there’s ice – trying to get ice moved around under the ice using divers, sonar.”


Watch the full press conference:

Police are giving an update on the search for a person who went missing while swimming in an icy pond in Wareham.

Police are giving an update on the search for a person who went missing while swimming in an icy pond in Wareham.

Posted by WCVB Channel 5 Boston on Monday, February 22, 2021


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