WRITER: Frank L. Cahill
PARSIPPANY — Lake Parsippany resident Avinash Kuna, 32, passed away on Saturday, June 1 during an accident on Lake Hopatcong. His body wasn’t recovered until Monday evening.
Avi, who turned 32 on May 28, went to Lake Hopatcong on Saturday morning with a group of his friends and co-workers and rented a pontoon boat to celebrate Avi’s birthday.
Approximately 10:00 a.m., Avinash got into the water and within no time started saying something is pulling him down and started screaming for help. He started flailing and was gasping for air. His friends tried to help him sending him additional life vests but unfortunately he couldn’t reach them. The situation got worse.
One of our friends (Jay) jumped into the water with a life vest but they had to pull him out since his vest came off too. Avinash started to drown in water. Everything happened so quickly. They were all terrified. Not knowing how to react, they called Bridge Marina and 911 for help.
Avi went down and that was the last they seen him. Due alot of weed in the lake and bad weather conditions, search was unsuccessful on Saturday. New Jersey State Police resumed the search around 9:00 a.m. Sunday with a dive team but did not locate Kuna, Sgt. Lawrence Peele said. The search ended at about 4:00 p.m. and again began Monday morning. The search was ending on Monday when the body was discovered at approximately 6:00 p.m. According to one of Avi’s friends, the body was found in almost the same area where he went down on Saturday.
State Police aviation, missing persons, and T.E.A.M.S. units led the search and used side scan sonar sub-surface detection equipment as part of their attempt to locate Kuna. A K9 unit joined the search on Monday.
Lake Hopatcong has 45 miles of shoreline and is located in parts of Morris and Sussex counties. It’s the largest freshwater lake in New Jersey and is open to swimming, boating, fishing, kayaking, sailing and water sports.
Avi was a Senior Systems Programmer for United Parcel Service working at their new facility on Upper Pond Road since September 2018. Avi has over seven years experience in IT which includes almost five years of developing and deploying internet / intranet web and client server based applications, almost two years of developing Android based experience, five years of experience in database design and management and three years of experience in delivering reliable and cost-effective software development solutions and consulting services to clients across many verticals.
Avi woke up everyday around 6:00 a.m. and headed to work at UPS; when he went home at night, he would work on his computer until the late hours each night. On the weekend, Avi, always kept busy with his friends. Camping, trips to the city or riding a paddle boat on Lake Parsippany. Avi definitely loved the outdoors.
Avi graduated with a Masters degree from New Mexico State University in 2016. He also received a Masters` degree from Andhra University with a Masters degree in Computer Science graduating in 2010.
Knowing about this incident, his mother has been hospitalized in India.
Once the body is released from the Medical Examiner’s office, the body will be flown back to his native country, India, for his family and well-wishers to see him for one last time and to perform last rituals.
There is a GoFundme page set up, click here for more information.