Search to resume Wednesday morning for missing swimmer

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(BAYFIELD, ON)   The Huron OPP has suspended its search for a 53-year-old Atwood man who went missing in Lake Huron Sunday. 

Darkness and murky water conditions have limited the search team's ability to locate the victim. The search will continue tomorrow morning (Tuesday).

Police said that shortly before 4 p.m., Sept. 2, a group of passengers was onboard a 30-foot pleasure craft on Lake Huron, about eight kilometres south of Bayfield. 

The boat operator, 62, of North Perth, and the Atwood man (a passenger) jumped into the water for a swim. Neither was wearing a personal flotation device. The waves and wind quickly separated them from the boat and they were unable to swim back.

Passengers on the boat, although inexperienced, were able to maneuver the vessel and recover the North Perth man. He was pulled onboard but not before he was struck by the pitching vessel and ingested a considerable amount of water. 

The Atwood man was unable to reach the boat and slipped beneath the surface. Police said the North Perth man was brought to shore and taken to Goderich hospital for treatment. He remains in hospital in stable condition.

Emergency personnel responded to the scene after witnesses on shore saw flares shot from the vessel.

A United States Coast Guard helicopter responded quickly to the scene and assisted in the search until RCC Trenton responded. 

The RCC Trenton helicopter, two OPP vessels, two Canadian Coast Guard vessels, along with several private boat owners, searched the area where the missing swimmer was last seen, until dark.  


Three OPP vessels, an OPP helicopter and the OPP Provincial Underwater Search and Recovery Unit searched an area south of Bayfield for most of Sunday. Two ATVs were used to search the shoreline.

They continued the search through Monday and will be back out Tuesday morning.

The names of the victims are being withheld at this time. The investigation is continuing.

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Monday, September 03, 2012