Avon Lake: Divers train in Lake Erie danger zone

7:14 PM, Jul 31, 2013   |    comments
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AVON LAKE -- Lake Erie can go from quiet and peaceful to wild and dangerous in the time it takes to turn on a jet ski.

Just ask Avon Lake firefighter Chris McKay.

He'll never forget July 4, 2012, and what was lost that night.  Chris was on the scene that night when a fisherman fell into Lake Erie and drowned. The victim's body was never recovered. 

The fisherman is one of six drownings in the last six years near the power plant by Miller Road Park. The Avon Lake Fire Department is holding its annual training at what has become one of the most dangerous spots on Lake Erie.

One of the first dangers is the drop underwater. Firefighter Chris McKay described it.

McKay said, "It's just like a cliff under water. You come to a little point where the sand rises up a little bit and then there's just a complete drop-off and when you drop, that's right where the discharge channel is."

And firefighters say that causes a strong current.

McKay said, "It's like a strong wind. You're swimming in water and you're helpless."

The danger zone is marked by signs on the beach and buoys in the water, and yet the divers say fishermen are hooked on this area.  

The advice here in Avon Lake is find a safer spot to go fishing.

Firefighter John Nakel said, "There are all sorts of piers up and down the lake from Cleveland to Sandusky. Avon Lake is a nice town but we don't like it when bad things happen here."


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