Erie County man drowns in Lake Erie
MAYVILLE, N.Y. — Federal and local authorities are continuing the search of Lake Erie for an Erie County man who drowned while swimming at the Ripley Beach area in Chautauqua County, New York, late Thursday afternoon.
The man who drowned has not been identified. Information released by the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office late Thursday night stated only that a 19-year-old Waterford man and a 19-year-old Erie man were the subjects of a water rescue in the area of Ripley Beach. It was not immediately known Friday morning which one of the men had drowned.
According to investigators, emergency responders were called to the area shortly before 6 p.m. Thursday on a report of a male in Lake Erie who was in distress. Authorities learned that four people had gone to Ripley Beach to go cliff diving into the lake and that the two 19-year-old men jumped off a cliff into the lake, which was very rough at the time, deputies reported.
One of the males, who was not identified, was located on some rocks at the bottom of a cliff and was rescued by the Chautauqua County Technical Rescue Team, with the assistance of several fire departments. He was treated for what appeared to be non-life-threatening injuries, according to deputies.
The other man was unable to get out of the water and had already drowned when first responders arrived on the scene, investigators reported. Rescue teams were unable to recover him on Thursday night because of the very rough water conditions. Recovery operations will continue, deputies reported.
Members of U.S. Coast Guard Station Erie were involved in the search on Thursday night, along with the Fuller Hose Co. in North East, the Westfield, New York, fire and police departments, the Ripley, New York, Fire Department and units from Chautauqua County.