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Londoner missing after swim in Lake Erie, search efforts underway: OPP

Officials say the crash was reported just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. File photo of OPP vessel.
Officials say the crash was reported just after 9:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. File photo of OPP vessel. OPP / Twitter

Search efforts are underway as Ontario Provincial Police continue efforts to locate a Londoner who went missing earlier this week after swimming in Lake Erie.

Emergency crews first responded to a marine incident on Thursday around 3:48 p.m.

According to investigators, an operator of a 25-foot sailboat reported that a passenger went missing after going for a swim near Port Stanley, Central Elgin.

Const. Brett Phair provided a description of the missing individual to Global News on Friday morning.

“They’re being identified as a 64-year-old white man of London with an average build,” he said. “He was last seen wearing blue and green swim trunks.”

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Few other details have been released, but Elgin County OPP say they’re assisting the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre, Canadian Coast Guard and Central Elgin Fire Department in a search for the missing individual.

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Phair said that search efforts are ongoing.

“There may be people in the area that might notice an increased presence both with the police and other vessels, as well as aircraft that are going to assist with the search,” he said. “We’re just asking that if any people that are on their boats keep an eye out for anything and call it in if there’s something we should take a look at.”

He added that emergency services might also be seen around the public beach.

“It is a possibility,” Phair told Global News. “With these incidents, our responses are kind of ever-changing with weather conditions and that certainly dictates how we respond to it. Although not a guarantee, there may be some of our members or members of the search party on the beach.”

Phair also advised everyone to be safe heading into the long weekend.

“Whether it’s this weekend or any other time, we just have to be aware that regardless of the conditions that you’re facing at the time, and even in ideal conditions, you have to be aware of the dangers of water,” he said. “All we ask is that you take as many safety precautions as possible.”

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