ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A search for a missing jet skier last seen near Rock Beach Road ended Thursday after his body was recovered from Lake Ontario during early morning hours.
The MCSO has identified the jet skier as Onofhil Isaac Nieves, 43. They say he went missing on Lake Ontario Saturday morning and the search and rescue mission continued Sunday and into Monday. The search was suspended shortly after 8:00 p.m. Monday, continued Tuesday, and was again suspended Tuesday evening.
Officials say local scuba-diving police units located a deceased body around 8 a.m. Thursday. It was shortly after that it was identified as Nieves.
Authorities say reports for a missing jet skier began around 10:21 a.m. Saturday. According to police, witnesses along Rock Beach Road saw a jet skier operating a jet ski but later discovered the water vehicle unoccupied.
MCSO, along with members of the U.S. Coast Guard, the Rochester Fire Department, New York State Police, and the Royal Canadian Air Force, began the search Saturday but had to suspend operations in the evening due to unsafe weather conditions. The search effort continued into Sunday without result.
Officials said on Monday morning that sheriff’s office parks and marine unit deputies conducted ground and water-based search patterns with foot patrols, boats, and ATVs. They also said the Drone Response Team would deploy assets to assist in the search.
Authorities say Nieves was last seen off the coast of Durand Eastman Beach.
MCSO Captain Bancroft said deputies found the jet ski running and unoccupied. He also added that if the individual got to shore, they would have been in the vicinity of Rock Beach Road.
“The waves are very high and the wind is very high, and it creates a very strong current,” Captain Bancroft said. “It’s possible that he hit a wave that he couldn’t get away from.”
Those with the Rochester Coast Guard Station say winds ranging from 20 to 37 miles per hour Saturday were enough to issue what’s called a Small Craft Advisory — which includes jet skis.
Captain Bancroft also said a scuba team was involved with the search.
Police continued to search the lake north of the 1000 block of Rock Beach Road Monday. They also released additional photos of Nieves.
Ahead of continued search efforts Tuesday, authorities thanked Mr. Nieves’ family for requesting jet skiers to join in the search but asked for all watercraft to avoid the area in the meantime.
On Wednesday, deputies with the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office provided an update on the search, saying drone, marine, and K9 units are now being utilized in the effort.
In a press release issued Thursday evening, officials on behalf of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office shared the following message:
“Our heartfelt condolences go out to Mr. Nieves’ family and friends during this difficult time. MCSO Crime Victims Specialists, in collaboration with F.I.T., continue to support the family of Mr. Nieves.“
Police press conference
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