HURON, Ohio — For the second time in as many weeks, rescue efforts at Nickel Plate Beach in Huron have turned into a recovery mission.
The U.S. Coast Guard identified the swimmer who disappeared in the water Sunday as Brittany Young, 29, of Vermilion. The Coast Guard said she was swimming with her husband and children when she disappeared.
Huron Fire Captain Kurt Schafer said crews from his department, Huron police and the U.S. Coast Guard were among those searching for Young on Sunday, from about 4:45 p.m. until dark.
On Monday, conditions for much of the day were deemed too rough for divers to get in the water or for boats to search. Instead, members of the Huron Fire Department searched from shore, patrolling Nickel Plate Beach for any sign of Young.
"The conditions are improving,” Schafer said early Monday afternoon. “If they do get better, we will then initiate our water-based searches."
With no lifeguard on duty at the beach, fire and police crews are responsible for rescuing swimmers in distress. This recovery mission is the second in two weeks, after a teenager disappeared into the water in early July.
"I know the first one was definitely due to waves and weather conditions,” Schafer said. “This one, that could’ve played [a] part in it."
The city said in a statement Monday that it was closing Nickel Plate Beach to public access until further notice, citing high lake levels and strong winds that have created dangerous conditions.
Schafer said there is a box of safety equipment on the beach, containing dive rings and other tools to be used for bystander rescue in case of an emergency.
“You’ve got to be careful,” Schafer said of the conditions. “If there’s waves and it’s very unpredictable, rip currents and undertows, we can’t predict them. It’s been proven they’re out here. You have to be very careful in any adverse weather conditions, for sure."
Schafer also expressed sympathy to Young’s family, as the recovery mission continued.
"It’s tragic. Our condolences to the family, for sure,” Schafer said.