JEFFERSON — Authorities say a man drowned after jumping from a pontoon boat into a lake in a bid to retrieve his hat.

State Police say roughly 10 relatives were riding Saturday with Bo Long on Lake Hopatcong when his hat blew off. They say the 51-year-old Livingston man turned the boat around and shut off the engine before he entered the water.

Long soon retrieved the hat, but by then the boat was drifting away. He tried to return to the boat but soon had difficulty swimming.

Two passengers jumped into the lake after Long slipped below the surface but they couldn't reach him. Authorities say Long — who wasn't wearing a life jacket — was eventually pulled from the water but was pronounced dead a short time later.

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