Friday, July 20, 2007


Avon Lake Police Lieutenant Duane Streator said the call to the Police Department came in at 9:28pm Thursday night. “We received a call for two swimmers in distress off of Miller Road Park. We responded along with the Avon Lake Fire Department. The Fire Department deployed swimmer and rescue personnel into the water to try and locate two males. The males were described as a 20 year old and a 19 year old who were swimming about 75 yards off the beach. Rescuers tried in valiant effort until around midnight to locate the two swimmers.”

Lt. Streator identified the two missing swimmers as 20 year old Brandon Glass and 19 year old Daniel Smith, both of Elyria.

Avon Lake Fire Chief Bill Morris said that upon their arrival they deployed two swimmers from their department as well as two from the Avon Fire Department. “The Firefighters were in water gear and searched the area that the missing swimmers were last seen. Rescuers were unable to locate either of the swimmers so we decided to do a shore to water sweep of the area until midnight at which time the weather conditions had turned horrible, we were unable to deploy divers because of the weather conditions. At that point we decided to cease operations until daybreak at which time we responded back here at 6 this morning. We again deployed individuals into the water doing a walking sweep because of the conditions. At this point we have made 3 sweeps in the water as far out as the individuals could go and unable to locate either of the two individuals.”

United States Coast Guard Commander Tim Wendt, Chief of response for Coast Guard Sector Buffalo New York. Commander Wendt said the Coast Guard response started shortly after the 9-1-1 call with a small boat being dispatched from their Lorain Station. The small boat searched until midnight when the conditions worsened and they had to return sending out the larger boat. Two helicopters were also dispatched from Detroit Michigan to aid in the search last night. “We have currently searched approximately 60 square miles using the 6 different resources we have including the boats and helicopters. The search has not yielded any results yet. We will continue to search as long as we feel there is a chance for survival.”

Avon Lake Police Chief Dave Owad said that they have called on every available resource in order to make this a successful rescue attempt. Chief Owad wanted to remind people of the dangers of the Lake. “People cannot underestimate the hazards and dangers of the lake.” Chief Owad said that the beach was not closed and that the swimmers were in the designated swim area, just to the northern border of that area.

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