Friday, April 30, 1999

Man drowns; companion rescued at Caesar Creek

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        WAYNESVILLE — A 57-year-old man drowned and another man was rescued after they fell from a boat while fishing Thursday afternoon on Caesar Creek Lake.

        Divers from the Loveland-Symmes Township Search and Rescue Team searched until late Thursday but were unable to find the body of Charles Hodge of Huber Heights, Ohio.

        Mr. Hodge was fishing with Robert Reed, 51, also of the Dayton, Ohio, area, when 56-degree water filled their boat.

        Another boater saved Mr. Reed, who was treated Thursday at Bethesda Warren County Hospital and released.

        Chuck Thiemann, acting manager of Caesar Creek State Park in Warren County, said one big wave on such a windy day could swamp the 15-foot fiberglass, open-bow boat.

        The search for the body could take weeks, Mr. Thiemann said.

        This was the area's second presumed drowning this week. Middletown authorities are still searching for the body of 42-year-old Bill Heavrin, who went under the surface of the Great Miami River on Monday near Ohio 122 while trying to race a companion across the river. The body had not been recovered late Thursday.

        At Caesar Creek, the nearby boater grabbed Mr. Reed at 2:30 p.m., pinned him to the side of the boat and carried him to shore. Mr. Thiemann said Mr. Reed apparently suffered from hypothermia.

        The orange life jacket that could have saved Mr. Hodge later washed up on the beach of Caesar Creek Lake.

        His body and the boat lay somewhere 65 feet below the lake's surface, along the rough bottom.

        In waters so deep, light doesn't reach the bottom. Divers couldn't find the body amid the stumps, vegetation and debris.

        “People have got to wear life jackets,” Mr. Thiemann said. “No doubt had they been, the outcome would have been different, I'm sure.”

        Life jackets are particularly impor tant in the spring and fall, he said, when the water temperature is cold and people are wearing thick, heavy clothes.

        This was the second drowning in eight months at Caesar Creek. A 26-year-old man drowned in September in the beach area, he said. Before that, the last drowning was in August 1994.

        This is the beginning of Caesar Creek's busy season. Between 80 and 100 boats likely were out Thursday on the man-made lake, which covers about 20 percent of the park's 10,770 acres. On a warm day, up to 10 times that number cruise the waters.

        In 1996, 1.4 million people visited the state park.


Musical is a wrenching tale of a full life
Campaign builds for Sabin expansion
Area gets friendlier to cyclists
Fort Washington Way shutdown to scramble west-bound traffic
FWW, I-75 closing on weekend
Police open fire on would-be robbers
Policeman quits amid allegations
Fairfield school sends Littleton bears and prayers
Schools see rash of incidents
UC defends human research
$8 million-plus a Fine Arts Fund record
'Bought' mayor debated
Fernald waste facing roadblocks
Hundreds rally against violence
Sentinels stand behind Shirey's decision
- Man drowns; companion rescued at Caesar Creek
CCM sets stage for 2000
Family keeps up with three beats
Family survived without television
'Henry Adams' tops list of century's best nonfiction
100 best works of 20th century nonfiction
Saturday services planned for Roger, Larry Troutman
Their first Communion
2nd aquarium exit requested
Boone Co. invites plan update
Butler makes present of its past
Clermont expects few voters
Farewell for 'Mr. Mason'
Grand jury gets DUI case
Health center closes after 70 years
Lebanon leaders bicker on bicentennial
Malpractice verdict to stand, judge says
Mariemont honors future museum site
No deal, foes of Warren Co. landfill say
OSU, OU settle dispute over 'Ohio'
Skits carry message to classmates
St. Bernard schools try to fill vacancy
Trees are the stars of new park