Sunday, March 14, 2010

Towboat Sinks On Ohio River; Man Missing

Two people made it to shore after a tow-boat they were on sank in the rain-swollen Ohio River this afternoon, but rescuers were still searching for a third person. The person who was still being sought was a man wearing a green sweater and an orange flotation device, a dispatcher said. Two other men apparently swam to shore along River Road in Boone County. They were taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Florence for treatment of hypothermia, said Michael Fronimos, a spokesman for the Hebron Fire Department. "With the water going as fast as it is, (the missing crewman) could be down river in just minutes," Fronimos said.Lt. Tom Scheben of the Boone County Sheriff's office said the two survivors told investigators they were surprised at how quickly the 40-foot tow boat sank. Their names were not released. Complicating matters, Scheben said, is that the boat might have been carrying up to 500 gallons of fuel, making it a possible hazmat situation. Police received a call around 4:37 p.m. that the boat had sunk in the Ohio River, between Anderson Ferry and Taylorsport. The two men who were rescued came out of the river near Taylorsport, Fronimos said. Rescuers and police from Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg, the Coast Guard and Northern Kentucky were assisting in the search. Rescuers planned to continue the search after darkness. No information was available on what caused the boat to sink.

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