Woman drowns in the Flats Saturday morning, 2 others in critical - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Woman drowns in the Flats Saturday morning, 2 others in critical

One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday) One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday)
One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday) One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday)
One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday) One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday)
One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday) One person is dead, two are listed in critical after falling into Cuyahoga River (Source: Carl Monday)

The call came in at quarter to six Saturday morning bringing the fire department, EMS, the police department and Coast Guard.  Two men and a woman described as being in her upper 20's had been near the water at the fountain across from Nautica Pavilion when they decided to jump into the water. 

They jumped in, the men surfaced and the woman did not. 

That triggered a search with two dive teams, a tactical search of the river and a sonar unit.  It ended an hour and a half later with divers finding the woman's body. 

The men were described as panicked and distraught after repeatedly trying to find their friend according to Fire Lieutenant Larry Gray "You could see visible signs on these gentlemen with scars and abrasions that they had been in the water."

The park and fountain on the East bank of the flats offers an inviting opening to the river.  A great place to dangle your feet in the water. 

Certainly not a great place to jump into the water according to Lt. Gray who added "On the surface it can appear to be a very calm, inviting pool of water but we constantly talk about undercurrent and not to swim in area's that you're not aware of.

The comeback of the Cuyahoga River is well documented.  Recreational boaters rowed, cruised and used jet ski's all day.  But at the bank of the river there are dangers.  Debris collects where water eddies, some of the debris like large logs heavy enough to injure someone diving into them.

The three had been part of a much larger group, but as night turned to morning all the others had left.

Gray says "the whole basis of why they were in the area, why they decided to jump in the water is unclear."  The Medical Examiner's Office is conducting tests to determine the cause of death and if alcohol was involved.

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