MOUNT ARLINGTON, NJ - A GoFundMe site raised nearly $6,000 in two hours today for the family of Jason Gil, a Mount Arlington man who apparently drowned Saturday evening in Lake Hopatcong after falling off a pontoon boat.
The "Gil Family Grievance" page, created by Gil's friend Morgan Laidlow, seeks to raise $10,000.
Gil, 24, who attended Roxbury High School, fell into the lake near Main Lake Market in Jefferson at about 7:42 p.m. on Aug 3, police said. He'd been on a pontoon boat operated by Lake Hopatcong resident Nicholas Zarantonello.
They said Zarantonello, 24, was charged with boating under the influence and released pending a future court date.
The State Police Marine Services Bureau responded to the scene shortly after receiving a report about the incident. A thunderstorm that swept through the area shortly afterward thwarted search operations.
"During the weekend, Marine Services Bureau troopers conducted a search of the area using side scan sonar sub-surface detection equipment," they said. "Assisting in the search were State Police Aviation and T.E.A.M.S. Units as well as Jefferson Fire Department."
Gil's body was not found until about 6:30 a.m. Monday, police said, noting it was "observed by a boater in the vicinity of the search area and recovered by Marine Services Bureau troopers."
The Morris County Medical Examiner’s Office took the body in order to conduct an autopsy, police said.
"Jason Gil brought so much love and happiness to everyone he met," says the GoFundMe page. "He was a devoted son and brother. Jason passed away in an unfortunate accident but he lived a full life of joy and adventure."