December 18, 2014

Elyria
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28°F
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Lake search for swimmer continues

Daylong effort brings no sign of Elyrian missing for two days

AVON LAKE — Rescue workers continued their search for a missing swimmer Saturday, while friends and family members watched the water and waited.
Brandon Glass, 20, of Elyria, has been considered missing since about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, when he went into the water off Miller Road Park with his friend, Daniel J. Smith, 19, of Elyria. Smith’s girlfriend called 911 at 9:28 p.m. Thursday, begging rescuers to hurry because she believed the two men had drowned.
Smith’s body was found on the shore near a home on the 33000 block of Lake Road about 1 p.m. Friday.
The Coast Guard and rescue workers focused their daylong efforts on an
8- to 10-foot deep area of water near the fishing pier. Crews were on the water about 7 a.m. after a short briefing, Avon Lake Police Lt. Duane Streator said. However, a broken sonar device in the early afternoon left the rescue boat hovering near the pier while workers attempted repairs.
By 5:30 p.m., the Coast Guard had received new sonar equipment from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, but still had not found Glass.
“It is the same concept as a metal detector,” Streator said. “It sends out signals and when they come back, we send a diver down to investigate.”
Streator said they could not narrow the search to a specific location.
“It is very unpredictable as to where he may turn up,” Streator said. “With the currents of the lake, you never know. We’re going to keep doing everything we can.”
Glass’s mother and sister spent most of the day leaning against a fence that looked out over the lake as friends and family came to share condolences.
Although Glass’s sister, Brook Glass, said she and her family were not ready to comment, she said she wanted to thank the workers trying to find her brother.
On Friday, the water conditions forced rescue crews to call off the search at about 5 p.m. and focus on what Streator called shore-based searches. The Coast Guard also has sent out helicopters, boats and divers to try to locate the missing swimmer.
Glass was last seen swimming with Smith and an unidentified girl Thursday night. Smith’s girlfriend called 911 when she lost sight of the two men, while the female swimmer was able to get out of the water.
The Avon Lake Fire Department responded and sent out divers to battle four-foot waves to search for the missing men. Divers searched until midnight when water conditions worsened, forcing the rescue workers out of the water.
Avon Lake Fire Lt. Jeffery Moore said weather conditions have improved enough to keep the search going until Glass is found. The search was expected to resume at 7 a.m. today.
The discovery of Smith’s body Friday made him the second Lorain County resident to have drowned in Lake Erie this summer. Christopher “Kiki” Pacheco, 15, of Lorain, drowned while swimming off the shore in Lorain in June.
Contact Ben Norris at 329-7155 or metro@chroniclet.com.

072207swimmer.jpgTOM MAHL / CHRONICLE
Coast Guard rescue workers search for Brandon Glass on Saturday off a fishing pier in Avon Lake.