Crews hit the water on the Whitewater River
to begin searching for a lost boys Thursday
(Cedar Grove, Ind.) - More than 24 hours after a toddler was lost in the Whitewater River, authorities are still searching desperately for the child.
The 17-month-old boy’s parents, Carmen Sickmeier and Lawrence Obanion, of Florence, Ky., were kayaking with the boy on a swift moving portion of the river near Cedar Grove Wednesday afternoon when their kayak overturned. The boy was lost and the parents ran to find help.
Conservation officers with the Indiana Department of Natural Resources say the child was wearing a lifejacket as he rode with his parents on the two-person kayak, but it may have been improperly secured. The personal floatation device was fond later Wednesday afternoon about a mile downriver.
With the help of more than 70 volunteers, the search - being termed as a recovery mission and not a rescue - continued during the daylight hours Thursday along 23 miles of the river in Indiana and Ohio. Crews have scored shorelines and used sonar. An Indiana State Police helicopter was even brought in to assist.
Authorities say the river, particularly the portion near Cedar Grove where the incident occurred, are less than ideal for kayaking. The current was moving swiftly Wednesday, floating debris with water levels nearly five feet higher than normal. The water temperature was 52 degrees according to the IDNR.
Conservation officers said the search will continue until the sun sets Thursday. It would then start again first thing Friday morning at 7:00.