Lima man’s death ruled accidental drowning

LIMA — Funeral services are planned for April 27 for a Lima man who drowned while fishing at Lima Lake, part of the Ottawa Metro Park operated by the Johnny Appleseed Metro Park District.

An obituary for Gregory Long, 66, said he died “while fishing on his boat.”

Details surrounding the boating mishap have been slow to emerge over the past week.

Major Andre McConnahea, public information officer for the Allen County Sheriff’s Office, in a press release issued Tuesday said Long was fishing around noon on April 13 in a 12-foot metal jon boat powered by an electric motor. He was accompanied by a friend, Larry Shelby, 68, of Lima. The water temperature was approximately 43 degrees at the time of the incident, according to the report.

McConnahea said the boat took on water and quickly sank as the men tried to free their anchor from a stuck position. Long was not wearing his life jacket, which was in the boat at the time. Shelby was wearing his life jacket and was able to make it to the shore, some 15 feet away. Shelby attempted to assist his friend by throwing him a flotation device from the shore. He was unable to reach Long before he drowned, McConnahea said.

The Lucas County Coroner’s Office has ruled Long’s death to be due to an accidental drowning.

The information is the result of a joint investigation between the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ watercraft investigative division and the Allen County Sheriff’s Office’s detective bureau, McConnahea said.

Friends of Long may call at Hanneman-Siferd Funeral Home, 506 N. Cable Road, Lima from 12-1:30 p.m. Saturday April 27, for a memorial gathering. To express condolences online or to send floral tributes for the family, go to