The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

June 21, 2013

Man’s body recovered from Pymatuning Lake

NORTH SHENANGO TOWNSHIP, PA. — The body of a Pittsburgh man, who drowned on Pymatuning Lake Saturday, was recovered Wednesday evening.

Lawrence Page Sr., 47,  went missing just before 5 p.m. Saturday after reportedly jumping off a pontoon boat to help a female swimmer.

Page’s body was recovered just before 5 p.m. at the point he was last seen jumping into the water, said Dan Bickel, of Pymatuning State Park.

“He was found by a park ranger in a patrol boat in the center of the lake on the Pennsylvania side across from (Ohio’s) Birch’s boat launch,” he said.

Bickel said there were no divers involved in the search Wednesday. Divers had a difficult time locating the body as visibility on the bottom of the lake is only around 6 to 8 inches, he said.

“When the divers go down, visibility is limited,” he said. “Unless they were on top of him, it would be difficult to locate him.”

Bickel said the use of sonar provided by the Pennsylvania State Police helped responders locate Page’s body.

Search efforts have been conducted since Page went missing Saturday with a number of Ohio and Pennsylvania agencies involved.

According to witness accounts, a female occupant of the boat reportedly jumped off the front of the boat to go swimming, the boat went over her and she panicked. Page reportedly jumped in the water to assist her.

“He jumped off the boat to help someone else,” Bickel said. “Neither one of them was wearing a life jacket. Life jackets save lives.”

Swimming off of boats is not permitted in Pymatuning Lake without the use of life jackets, he said.

“Had he been wearing one, he would still be with us,” Bickel said.

Andover Volunteer Fire Department responded to the initial call Saturday as well as the Ashtabula County Dive Team, North Shenango and Linesville volunteer fire departments, the Crawford County Scuba Team, Conneaut Lake Ambulance Service, STAT MedEvac medical helicopter and Pymatuning State Park Police, according to reports. An aerial search was also conducted Tuesday by an Ohio State Highway Patrol aircraft.

Bickel said if someone falls in the water without a life jacket, be sure to throw them some sort of floatable device, even if it’s a cooler, to help them get to safety.

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