UPDATE: Man Still Missing After Weekend Search Of Great Miami River
By Mike Perleberg
Update posted Monday, April 7 at 7:47 a.m.:
(Miamitown, Oh.) – The search could continue Monday in the Great Miami River for a man who jumped into the water last Friday afternoon.
Hamilton County EMA said a 70-year-old man reportedly jumped or fell into the swollen river from the Interstate 74 bridge near Miamitown about 1:00 p.m. Four witnesses called 911 to make the report and a police helicopter later spotted the man in the water.
Police and fire units from Colerain, Whitewater Township, Miami Township, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, Cleves Police and Great Parks of Hamilton County began a shoreline search down river from I-74.
The river was about three feet over flood stage of 19 feet as the search began. Boats from Colerain, Whitewater and Miami Townships were launched and began active searching in the fast-moving current. Units from Dearborn and Boone counties were asked to assist.
Colerain Township Fire Department, who said Colerain Township Police are leading the investigation, said assistance was received from the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office helicopter whose pilot spotted the victim actively clinging to a log moving briskly downriver towards the U.S. 50 bridge in Cleves.
Rescuers were deployed onto the bridge to prepare for a possible bridge-based rescue. However, the victim was seen by the chopper pilot go underwater after approximately 30 minutes after first being spotted with the log.
The search expanded to further down the Great Miami River. By 5:00 p.m., the rescue operation was called off due to the increasingly hazardous conditions on the river.
Searchers hit the water again on Saturday. They were scheduled to return to the water again Sunday, according to WCPO-TV.
The victim has not been identified by authorities.
Update posted Friday, April 4 at 4:34 p.m.:
Some units are being asked to terminate their search for a man who was spotted in the Great Miami River Friday afternoon.
Hamilton County EMA says the man, age 70, jumped into the Great Miami River near Miamitown around 1:00 p.m.
“Task Force 1, Command 400, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, City of Cincinnati, Boone Co. Ky & Hamilton Co units have scanned up and down the swift river for 3 hours,” the agency said in a statement issued at about 4:30 p.m.
The EMA said the flooded river is making rescue operations dangerous and difficult.
Update posted Friday, April 4 at 4:03 p.m.:
Search crews are still scanning the Great Miami River for a man who reportedly went into the water Friday afternoon.
Hamilton County 911 said that the flooded river’s strong current and lots of floating debris along with winds were making the search effort difficult.
Both directions of traffic on U.S. 50 at the Great Miami River Bridge in Cleves were being diverted into two lanes using the eastbound side of the bridge.
Original story posted Friday, April 4 at 2:19 p.m.:
(Miamitown, Oh.) – Water rescue crews are attempting to locate a man who reportedly jumped into the Great Miami River on Friday afternoon.
At around 1:00 p.m., a man in his 70′s reportedly jumped or fell off of the Interstate 74 westbound bridge over the Great Miami River near Miamitown, Hamilton County 911 dispatchers said. The interstate was closed briefly closed as first responders searched the area for the subject in the water.
The search took place on water, on land, and by air with helicopters. Crews set up at the U.S. 50 bridge in Cleves a few miles downstream hoping to spot the victim. Dearborn County and Boone County water rescue crews were assisting. Divers have also been summoned to the river.
About an hour after the report was first made, searchers may have spotted the victim in the water near Cleves. Crews reportedly found the man washed into a pile of debris.
Eastbound U.S. 50 is closed at the bridge in Cleves due to the rescue operation. Motorists have been asked to steer clear of the area according to Hamilton County Emergency Management.
Stay tuned to Eagle 99.3 for updates on this story.