A retired Philadelphia Fire Department lieutenant drowned while fishing Tuesday in a freshwater pond in Cape May County, police said.

Lower Township Police Chief Edward Donohue said it appeared Peter C. Mosero, 70, had waded into deep water and became submerged at the Lepor Pits pond in the Erma section. "The area of the pond where Mr. Mosero was fishing drops off quickly," Donohue said in a statement.

Another fisherman who had seen Mosero earlier in the morning raised the alarm about 7:20 a.m. when he returned to the spot where Mosero had been fishing and spotted some angling equipment floating on the water, police said. Members of the Town Bank Fire Department's search-and-rescue dive team found the missing man about 8:10 a.m. in 12 feet of water, police said.

Mosero, a retired Philadelphia fire lieutenant who lived in the township's North Cape May section, was pronounced dead at the scene. - Inquirer staff