The body of a 20-year-old man who disappeared while swimming at a lake in Dartmouth has been recovered.

Police and emergency crews responded to a report of a possible drowning at Penhorn Lake on Penhorn Drive around 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Police say a man went under water and failed to resurface.

“He went for a swim, became in distress, and people called 911 because people there were unable to affect a rescue themselves," says Sgt. Ross Burt of the Integrated Dive Team.

Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency deployed rescue boats but they were unable to locate the man Tuesday evening. The search was called off just before 10 p.m. but police held the scene overnight.

An RCMP dive team arrived on scene around 8 a.m. Wednesday, along with divers from as far away as New Brunswick.

Police say the divers recovered the man's body from the lake just before 9 a.m.

"When we found him about 10 metres to the left of the point of entry, and he was about 10 metres from shore and about three metres below the surface," says Sgt. Burt.

Penhorn Lake is considered a recreational lake with lifeguards posted in the summer. It’s also popular with fishermen. 

Local residents say many are aware of the dangers hiding in the deeper part of the lake.

“If you go down too deep after the drop off, you can get stuck in the seaweed,” says student Jacob Brinton, who was swimming at the lake on Wednesday. “If you go down and move your foot around in the seaweed, you'll get caught in it."

Police say the man's identity will not be released.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Ron Shaw.