HOWARD — The search for a 32-year-old drowning victim’s body resumed this morning after first responders called off the effort Monday night around 10.
The unidentified man drown in the Kokosing River after swimming with his family Monday afternoon.
Divers were expected to be back in the water at about 9 a.m. today. According to Brian Durbin, captain of the Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District, cadaver dogs were being utilized to assist in the recovery.
The incident happened between Honey Run Waterfall and the Caves Campground, close to the intersection of Austin and Hazel Dell roads, east of Millwood. This section of the Kokosing River is to the south of the former Millwood sand plant.
Four Martinsburg youths swimming in the river heard a call for help from about 200 yards away at about 3 p.m. Holly Shafer with her twin sister, Hillary, and friends, Bryce Stewart and Ty Smith, dove in and swam to the spot where the man went down.
Holly said they swam to within 30 yards of where the man was before he disappeared under the water. The group told the News they dove repeatedly in what they estimated to be 12 feet of water, searching for him, but to no avail. The young rescuers said the man was swimming with his daughter who got to shore safely.
The Eastern Knox County Joint Fire District was called to the scene at about 3:40 p.m. and started calling in dive teams from Fredericktown and Warsaw. The Licking County dive team was on standby. They put boats in the water from the Caves Campground. Durbin told the News on Monday, the scene of the drowning was only a short distance up the river from the campground.
The man’s wife was on the scene but officials have not released his name. The Knox County Red Cross was on the scene assisting rescuers.
A storm that passed through took divers out of the water until it passed. Darkness; however, created an unsafe environment and the search was suspended for the night.