Local

May 28, 2014

Hillsdale Lake drowning victim entered water to retrieve item, officials say

Mark Selbee of Leawood had taken his two children on the 21-foot boat over the holiday weekend and was about 400 yards from the shore when the tragedy occurred.

A 45-year-old man who drowned in Miami County on Saturday had dived into Hillsdale Lake to retrieve an item that had fallen out of his boat, sheriff’s officials said Wednesday.

Mark Selbee of Leawood had taken his two children on the 21-foot boat over the holiday weekend and was about 400 yards from the shore when the tragedy occurred.

After the children were rescued, they told authorities that their father swam a short distance from the boat and turned around to return.

Then his head ducked under the water and he did not reappear, according to a sheriff’s statement. He was not wearing a life vest.

Searchers recovered Selbee’s body at 6:35 p.m. Sunday in about 25 feet of water.

Friends described Selbee, a Topeka native and Washburn University graduate, as a devoted family man and kickboxing champion who retired from competition in 2006.

| Mark Morris, mmorris@kcstar.com

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