HOPATCONG — State Police said the body of a Parsippany who drowned Saturday morning in Lake Hopatcong was pulled from the water Monday night.

Avinash Kuna, 32, drowned after he voluntarily jumped from the pontoon boat he was on with friends while celebrating his birthday.

Kuna went into the water in the lake's Henderson Cove about 11 a.m., according to Jay Majeti, who was on the boat. Friends said Kuna felt that he was being pulled under in the weed-filled water and his lifejacket somehow came off.

Majeti started a GoFundMe campaign to help return Kuna's body to India.

State Police said members of the State Police Marine Services Unit and TEAMS recovered Kuna's body about 6:10 p.m. Monday. Kuna's body will be sent to the county medical examiner to determine a cause of death.

Majeti said that Kuna had a life jacket on when he went into the water just before 11 a.m. and said that he felt something was pulling him down.

"He started flailing and was gasping for air," Majeti said.

He said that Kuna's life jacket came off. A friend jumped into the water and unsuccessfully tried to pull Kuna but also lost his life jacket.

Lake Hopatcong, located within Hopatcong State Park, is maintained by the state Department of Environmental Protection, which declined to comment about what historically can be found under the water surface.

The water in the cove is 6 to 9 feet deep. Mayor Michael Francis told the Morristown Daily Record that weeds can be 3 feet tall.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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