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Search resumes for missing teens near Grand Lake

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Tee, Apr 11, 2005.

  1. Tee

    Tee Team OGF

    Search resumes for missing teens near Grand Lake
    By the Dayton Daily News

    Ohio and Mercer County authorities resumed their search for two missing 15-year-old boys Monday morning along the west bank of Grand Lake St. Marys.
    Their boat, shoes and fishing gear were recovered Saturday and Sunday from the lake after they embarked Friday afternoon for a trip across the lake in a small rowboat with a small motor.
    The boys are Greg Parker, a student at Celina High School, and Jonas Kahlig, a student at Coldwater High School, said Ken Obringer, public information officer for Mercer County Emergency Management Authority.
    The searchers are in five boats, and two airplanes, as they try to cover a box one mile wide by two miles long, according to John Wisse, public information officer, Ohio Department of Natural Resources, watercraft division.


    My condolences to the families.....
  2. catking

    catking Banned

    By far a parents worst nightmare..........I feel for those involved........ :(

  3. H2O Mellon

    H2O Mellon Hangin' With My Gnomies

    I've been gone all weekend, whats the latest?
  4. I talked to a friend of mine and he said that they found one of the boys who had went over the spillway but no word on the second young man as of yet.
    this is the article out of the evening leader in st.marys,

    Two youths missing in boating accident

    CELINA - A fishing trip turned into a tragedy as two area teens went missing on Grand Lake-St. Marys Friday night.

    At approximately 10 p.m. Friday, the Mercer County Sheriff's Department received a phone call when the two 15 year-olds, Greg Parker of Celina, and Jonas Kahlig of Coldwater, were not heard from after a planned fishing trip. Shortly after the phone call, agencies from across Auglaize and Mercer Counties sprang into action to help with the search.

    "Around 5:30 p.m., two 15-year-old males launched a boat from Montezuma," Public Information Officer for Mercer County EMA Ken Obringer said. "They planned on doing some fishing and meeting up with some friends afterwards at Pizza Hut."

    After an hour of searching the lake, an overturned rowboat was found near the shore of West Bank Park on the Celina side of the lake. In addition to the boat, rescue workers found a life jacket, a pair of shoes and both oars -- one of them by the spill-way.

    "There was no damage to the boat," Obringer noted. "But it did have a small trolling motor and it had a little bit of damage."

    During the search, numerous agencies pitched in to help locate the teens. Obringer added that an air search of the lake was also done to gain an aerial view of the lake.

    "We've had a lot of help out here," he said. "The Ohio State Highway Patrol sent a helicopter out here and Life Flight was out here."

    Crews also dragged the bottom of the lake with boats looking for the teens. Obringer noted that several dozen volunteers joined the search along the shoreline.

    "We pretty much scoured the western side of the lake and are still searching for them," he said Saturday. "We have all kinds of people out here helping us."

    While the circumstance surrounding the incident remain unknown, Obringer does not anticipate foul play or any other crimes involved in the disappearance.

    "At the present time, we do not suspect it (foul play)," he added. "Right now, we are treating it as an accident."

    On Sunday afternoon as the search continued, Grand Lake-St. Marys State Park Manager Craig Morton said the distance between Coldwater beach, near Montezuma, where the boys launched, and the Pizza Hut, where they were heading, is approximately 2-1/2 miles.

    "Our thinking right now, is we know the winds came up rather heavily around 6 p.m. Friday evening, shortly after the boys launched, we believe this may have played a role as the waters on the lake can be very dangerous in a short time under windy conditions," Morton said.

    In light of the accident, Obringer urged visitors to the lake to use caution when planning activities around the body of water.

    "The thing that I've always said is that people need to respect the body of water they will be boating on," he said. "Often times, people see it as an inland lake that is innocent, but they need to follow the rules."

    Morton also urged caution to all boaters in all seasons, noting the water in the lake right now is about 55 degrees.

    "One must assume the worst case scenario when you go on the water," Morton said. "Boaters need to be sure they have the right equipment and be prepared to use it -- this means wearing a life jacket, any time you are on the water, you have to take extra precautions because things can go bad very quickly out there."

    In the teens' case, Obringer noted that the unknown variables surrounding the accident may make it difficult to exactly determine what happened, but the crews will continue to exhaust all options in locating the teens.

    On Sunday, crews used boats with side-sonar to get a better picture of the lake and continued to search the shoreline for any evidence that would help locate the teens. Fixed-wing aircraft searched the area and cadaver dogs were also brought in.
  5. My prayers go out to the families. I have 3 boys and I just cringe when I hear stories like this.

    Please everyone teach their kids to respect the water. They don't know exactly what hapeened in this case but life jackets could have very well saved their lives had they been used.
  6. Heres the latest update

    04-11-05 Search continues for missing teens

    By Margie Wuebker

    Searching resumed by land, water and air this morning for two Celina High School freshmen who embarked on a fishing excursion Friday night at Grand Lake and never returned.
    A search boat with a canine unit aboard crisscrosses an area between the boat launch ramp and the spillway Sunday morning. Other boats were kept out of the area during the search because fumes from motors interfere with the dog's scening ability.<br>
    Greg Parker, 15, of Celina, and Jonas Kahlig, 15, of Coldwater, are presumed to have drowned after winds picked up and capsized their jon boat equipped with a small trolling motor.
    "Our search turned from a rescue mission to a recovery mission Saturday morning," Grand Lake St. Marys Park Manager Craig Morton told The Daily Standard.
    The youths launched the boat, which reportedly belonged to a friend's family, around 5 p.m. from Coldwater Beach. They planned to fish for a while before heading across the lake to meet friends at Windemere Bay for more fishing, this time from the shoreline.
    Friends began worrying when the pair failed to show up at the designated meeting place. A friend's father called 911 at 8:39 p.m. to report the boys missing. Some friends went to search the area while others waited at Windemere, lighting a large bonfire in hopes the flames would light the way as darkness fell.
    Authorities reportedly found the wooden boat and trolling motor approximately 90 minutes later washed ashore north of a pier for handicapped fishermen at West Bank Park. Searchers located an oar, two life jackets and a pair of shoes several hundred feet away. A second oar was located later near the spillway.
    The West Bank area, which remains blocked to public use, has become the command center for search operations. It is also the place where family members and friends have been waiting for news of bodies being recovered.
    "We had hope in the beginning the boys made it to shore and were staying with friends," Mary Jo Joseph, Kahlig's aunt, said Sunday afternoon. "There was always a chance they ended up on an island out there. We realized Saturday that those were impossible dreams."
    Mercer County Sheriff's deputies and other rescue personnel flocked to the scene and searched small brush-covered islands. They found no sign of the boys, only empty soft drink cans and other litter.
    Given a target area measuring nearly 2 1/2 miles, searchers face a formidable challenge.
    "We believe the boys hugged the Windy Point wall before heading across the lake in the direction of Safety Island and Windmere," Morton said. "The weather turned cooler and the wind picked up to about 20 miles per hour between 5:30 and 6 Friday night. They were likely in the middle of the lake when that happened."
    Morton shook his head, noting a jon boat and a trolling motor were no match for choppy water. The boys reportedly wore life jackets when they left the shore. With water temperatures hovering between 50 and 55 degrees, Morton indicated hypothermia would have set in before the boys could swim to shore.
    "There are no witnesses that can pinpoint where Greg and Jonas were at the time the wind picked up," Morton added. "We can only guess where they ran into trouble. There was some minor damage to both the boat and the motor, but we think that happened when they washed up on shore."
    Visitors to West Bank Park on Sunday afternoon talked in hushed tones and scanned the water as boats headed back and forth. Airplanes periodically droned overhead flying grid patterns as pilots and spotters looked for anything floating in the water.
    "The colder the water, the longer it takes for bodies to surface," Morton said. "Determining when that will happen is not an exact science."
    Firefighters from several departments responded to the scene as did law enforcement officers and emergency medical services from throughout the county. Volunteers on horseback scoured the shoreline as did people on foot who wanted to help locate the boys.
    In addition to state park employees, others lending assistance included representatives from the Ohio Division of Watercraft and the Ohio Division of Wildlife. Some of the search boats towed state-of-the-art sonar equipment capable of locating bodies or other structures beneath the water. Cadaver dogs rode in other boats but turned up nothing.
    An Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter periodically plied the cloud-strewn sky as did other flights emanating from Lakefield Airport near Montezuma.
    P.E. Centers, a state park employee for nearly 20 years, watched more search boats setting out Sunday afternoon.
    "This is a great place to live," he said with a sigh. "People really respond when something bad happens. The outpouring of concern and compassion certainly is amazing. Complete strangers pitched in to give those boys every possible chance."
    John Wisse, public information officer for the Ohio Division of Watercraft, this morning said the search will continue from dawn to dusk each day until the bodies are found.
  7. as of the 11:00 news they still haven`t found them yet.

    Sure hope they do soon for the families sake.

  8. IF they truly wore the life jackets when they left shore then there is still hope that theyare alive. They said that the life jackets were found. The fact that they found life jackets led me to think they did not wear them but evidently they have reason to believe they did. I hope they are right.

    I am still hoping for the best for their sake and the families.