Yellowknife's Jim Essery, 58, is believed to be the man found dead Saturday afternoon after having drowned in a lake.

While the RCMP has not released the person's identity, Buffalo Airways staff member Mikey McBryan told CBC News it was Essery who passed away. Essery was a long-time mechanic with the northern airline.

The RCMP received a call that a boat was turning in tight circles in the middle of Prosperous Lake, which is about 20 kilometres away from Yellowknife.

Police say it appeared that the boat had run out of gas.

RCMP discovered the body floating face-down in the water.

"The RCMP attended in our boat and pulled the man out of the water. Unfortunately, he was determined to be deceased at that time. He was not wearing a lifejacket. At this point it's uncertain what the exact cause of death was," said RCMP Sgt. Brad Kaeding.

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Jim Essery worked as a mechanic for Buffalo Airways and was featured on the show NWT Ice Pilots. (Facebook)

An autopsy will take place in Edmonton.

Essery was on 'Ice Pilots' show

Buffalo Airways manager Mikey McBryan confirmed that it was Essery. McBryan said Essery worked in Yellowknife for 40 years and kept the airline's WWII vintage planes flying in frigid temperatures.

"Jimmy really knew how to take care of an airplane, better than most because he's been stuck out in the bush. Jimmy is really the godfather on northern aviation when it came to solving problems. He never really liked it when things were going good because it wasn't really needed. It's only when stuff was bad, he was really a superhero he would go in an fix it," said McBryan.

Essery was also on the television show NWT Ice Pilots.

McBryan said he has been getting condolences from people around the world who admired Essery’s skills and personality.

McBryan said that Essery was originally from Ontario and had a large extended family in Yellowknife and in the aviation community.