The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

July 13, 2013

Rescue workers conduct massive search for a reported missing swimmer in Saybrook Township

Coast Guard confirms victim is 13-year-old boy

By WARREN DILLAWAY - warren@starbeacon.com
Star Beacon

SAYBROOK TOWNSHIP — Rescue teams from all over Ashtabula County converged on Lake Road West Friday evening to search for a 13-year-old boy reported missing while swimming in Lake Erie, according to U.S. Coast Guard and witnesses on the scene.

More than a dozen rescue vehicles lined Lake Road West as emergency workers used ropes and a human chain to search for someone after a call of a “possible drowning” came in to the Saybrook Township dispatch center just after 8 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard arrived on the scene and stayed about 100  yards off shore cycling east and west over a quarter mile area as high waves pounded the area where rescue workers were searching.

Coast Guard and Saybrook Township officials were unable to provide information as to what initiated the emergency call, but the Coast Guard did confirm the age of the boy and the fact that a helicopter and a boat were searching late Friday evening.

Rescue workers focused on a small area behind a Lake Road West house near a large breakwall during the early stages of the search.

The beach area was accessible by a long set of steps from a home to the shoreline. Rescue personnel used the steps to gain access to the beach adjacent to the large breakwall.

A Geneva Fire Department boat was used in the search with three rescue workers on board. It was trailered to the site and placed in the water near the search area.

Boats from Conneaut and Rome Township arrived on the scene, but did not have immediate access to the water.

At least a dozen rescue workers were in the water, or on adjacent boats, as the waves tossed them around in the water near the 6600 block of Lake Road West.

Rescue workers remained late into the evening and gave no indication on when the search might be stopped for the night.