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Body of missing Lake Grapevine boater found

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Photo by Sarah Bays
Photo by Sarah Bays

Authorities have found the body of a Flower Mound man who was missing since he fell off a boat at Twin Coves Marina Sunday evening.

Ben Mesa, 44, was found around 11 a.m. Monday right in the are where he went under the water of Lake Grapevine, said Capt. Cliff Swoffard of the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. His body was found about 51 feed below the surface.

Flower Mound resident Lynn Peterson knew Mesa.

“Our sons recently played 7 v 7 football together and Ben helped coach,” she said.

Mesa had two sons, Zachary, 17, and Aidan, 14. According to his LinkedIn page, he was the director of accounts payable at Heartland Automotive Services, Inc. He earned his MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas and a Bachelor of Science in Accounting degree at the University of Utah.

Flower Mound Fire Chief Eric Greaser said Mesa and another man were stowing a boat at the marina in Flower Mound around 7:30 p.m. Sunday when Mesa fell off the boat and did not come back up. Rescue and recovery crews searched for Mesa until about midnight and then resumed their efforts early Monday morning.

“Two gentleman were out on the lake for recreation and they came back into the marina and were putting the boat into the slip. When they were putting a cover on the boat, one slipped off the boat and struck the pontoon lift and never came back up,” said Greaser.

The other man jumped into the water to rescue his friend but was unsuccessful. A Texas Game Warden responded to the scene minutes later and advised the second boater that he should come out of the water.

The search was suspended late Sunday night so divers could recuperate. Diving teams from Lewisville and Grapevine fire departments were at the scene this morning along with a team from the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The groups were using SONAR equipment in their search. Crews from Flower Mound Fire Department were also at the scene.

Although the lake level is high and the boat ramps are closed, the lake was opened by the Army Corps of Engineers within the past couple days, to anyone who could get a boat on the lake, Greaser said. He also indicated that it’s not likely the high water level was in any way responsible for the incident, but did make it more challenging for divers and recovery teams searching for the victim.

Read Mesa’s obituary here.

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