Four people have died in Wisconsin waters since Friday, including a 14-year-old boy and an 81-year-old man.
"When you're looking out on the lake, you break down," Winfred Colbert said through tears.
Colbert said his older brother, Willie Gene Colbert, was fishing on Lake Monona Saturday with friends when his boat hit a swell and they went overboard. Willie's friends survived.
74-year-old Willie loved to fish. He was a Vietnam veteran with a wife, three kids, and six grandchildren.
"He was a good guy. He was always looking out for his family," Colbert said while reminiscing about the barbecues and get-togethers his brother would host.
Colbert said the only time the two spent time away from each other was the three years when Willie was in the military.
On Friday, 81-year-old Peter Schauer of Chicago died at Geneva Lake after he fell into the water while paddle boarding, according to local police.
14-year-old Aiden Braim drowned in a pond at Happy Acres Kampground in Bristol the next day.
On Sunday, first responders rushed to Lac La Belle after a 35-year-old man from Milwaukee jumped into the water and never came back up. It was the second drowning at Lac La Belle lake in a matter of days. The first was a 32-year-old man also from Milwaukee.
Authorities said both men were on a rental boat with friends and family at the time and that both were swimming in the area northwest of Islandale.
The Western Lakes Fire District chief warned that even the most avid swimmers can struggle against the waves and wind. He stressed the importance of water safety and situational awareness.
"There (are) a lot of sandbars, but you shift five feet and you're going from what was four feet to an area that can be 35 feet," Chief Bowen said. "Many recreational boats don't have sonar units on them, many pontoon boats, and ski boats don't have that so you are unaware of the terrain below you."
With how unpredictable the lakes can be, Colbert and first responders in Oconomowoc encouraged more people to wear a personal floatation device when on or in the water.