New details emerged Wednesday about the male swimmer still missing in Shelburne Bay. South Burlington Police say search and rescue crews were out past midnight but were not able to locate the man, who had jumped in to save a child.
“We were actually near the water. We saw a lot of police and ambulance come. I just hope that this person does get found,” said Nick Multrie, a witness.
Search crews were out in full force on Wednesday, looking for the missing swimmer.
“You can see the wind is still up, that creates a challenge. But they will work diligently in order to continue the search effort,” South Burlington Police Chief Shawn Burke said.
South Burlington Police are heading the search conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard and Vermont State Police.
According to the police, six people aboard a small powerboat went to the bay to swim. Upon arriving, two kids jumped into the water, but one had trouble swimming due to increased wind and waves.
A male and a female jumped into the water to help the child. But while the female and child were able to swim to shore to get help, the man disappeared under the water.
Another man on board jumped in to help but was not successful. That man was recovered by the Coast Guard and transported to the UVM Medical Center where he later died.
The first male swimmer is yet to be found.
“Certainly a tragic, tragic event. And a harsh reminder of the importance of basic boating and swimming safety,” Burke said.
South Burlington Police believe a lack of life jackets, weather and boating inexperience all contributed to the incident.
“The weather kicked up and absent personal floatation devices, they weren’t able to recover themselves,” Burke said.
That’s why the Coast Guard is reminding everyone to practice four basic boating safety measures when heading out on the water.
“Yeah, number one is wear a life jacket always on the water. Number two is have a float plan. Tell someone where you’re going on the water, what time you’re leaving, and what time you’re expected to be home. Always bring a radio with you, cellphones are great but radios are really good. Check the weather before you leave,” said Thomas Barossi of the U.S. Coast Guard.
The names of the victims have not yet been released.
I’m told the search will continue until South Burlington Police decide to call it off. Stay with WCAX for more information.