Coroner Says 4 Swimmers Drowned Quickly

HURON, Ohio (AP) - Four men who drowned in Lake Erie while trying to save a friend died minutes after they were swept under the water, according to a coroner's report.

Erie County Coroner Thomas Nesgoda said dental records were used to identify the bodies of Jehrod Smith, 19, of Sandusky, and Kyle Kroetz, 29, Matthew Smith, and Steve Cupec, 27, all of Findlay.

The four disappeared in 6-foot waves last Wednesday while trying to reach a friend who had been knocked down and swept out by a current at Nickel Plate Beach near Huron, about 50 miles west of Cleveland.

Firefighters eventually rescued the woman, Amy Renee Anderson, 22, but the others didn't make it. Their bodies were recovered over the weekend.

The public beach has no lifeguards and was closed for swimming because of the danger, but people were allowed to sunbathe and picnic.

Although conditions have improved on the lake, the beach remains closed. The city is reviewing procedures at the beach.

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