CONNEAUT — The gap between the breakwalls on the western side of Conneaut Harbor claimed another life Saturday when a Pittsburgh firefighter drowned while swimming with his family, said Conneaut Fire Chief Steve Lee.
Lee said there have been numerous drownings in the area because water rushes quickly through the gap and causes treacherous water patterns.
“Stay away from the western gap,” he said.
Several years ago the Army Corps of Engineers placed signs at the Ashtabula and Conneaut breakwalls urging people to stay off the structures completely because of the danger.
Lee Weber, 38, was a Pittsburgh firefighter on vacation with his family when the incident occurred around 1:08 p.m. on Saturday, the chief said. He said said the call came in indicating two people in the water, but boaters near by were able to scoop up Weber’s son and bring him to safety.
The chief said the U.S. Coast Guard, The Ashtabula County Water Rescue Team and Lake City Fire Department participated in the rescue. He said bystanders on jet skis also assisted in the rescue effort.
Lee said a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter from Detroit saw Weber from the air and a boat was able to find him. But he was unconscious and given treatment at public dock, in the ambulance and at UH Conneaut Medical Center, but they were not able to resuscitate him.