Man Still Missing After Fatal Rafting Accident - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Man Still Missing After Fatal Rafting Accident

WILLOUGHBY, Ohio (AP) - Two men were thrown from a raft that went over a dam in the rain-swollen Chagrin River, killing one man while the other is missing.

Authorities resumed the search Monday morning for the 19-year-old man from Lyndhurst.

Chad N. Schreibman, 18, of Lyndhurst, was pronounced dead on Sunday at nearby LakeWest Hospital.

Witnesses told officials that two young men were seen on a raft in the raging Chagrin near Daniel's Park, about 15 miles east of Cleveland.

"The Chagrin generally is a placid and scenic river, but with the heavy rains and high water, that increased the current," Willoughby Fire Chief Mel House said.

Police said witnesses saw the two people in the raft from the river shore and shouted to them to avoid the dam.

"I saw them go over and get thrown out of the raft," witness Arney Price said. "There were a lot of logs, some bigger than I am, just beating on them." He also said a rope he tried to get to them was not long enough.

The water was churning at the 6-foot dam Sunday, and life jackets apparently were ripped off the rafters, House said.

The empty raft, big enough for two people, was caught at the edge of the dam.

"The dam is relatively small and really doesn't create any problems until high water levels and people trying to raft or canoe the river. Then it's dangerous," House said.

About an hour after the rafting accident, Eastlake Fire Department Lt. Mike Pandy and other firefighters saw a life jacket floating.

"I got hold of the jacket and realized the kid was attached," said Pandy, who brought the victim to the river bank about four miles downstream from the dam.

Chad Schreibman's mother, Karen Schreibman, said her son enjoyed the water.

"He has been boating and rafting since he was a little boy and knew all the safety rules. It appears he made a very bad decision," she said.

John Wisse, spokesman for the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft, said the river conditions the two encountered are very hazardous.

"You've got to be highly skilled to take a raft, canoe or a kayak into high water, and we never recommend going anywhere near a dam," he said.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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