A Kane resident has drowned and her husband is presumed dead following a canoe accident on the Kinzua Bay area of the Allegheny Reservoir on Sunday morning.
Kane-based state police said Terry Lee Snyder, 62, of 307 Maple St., drowned when her canoe capsized while she was fishing. Her body was recovered not long after the search began on Sunday, but a second person - Mike Snyder of the same address - has still not been located; he is presumed drowned as well.
The search operation and investigation are continuing.
Fred Angell, chief of the McKean County Sheriff's Department Dive and Rescue Team, said no one saw the accident happen.
"It was not a witnessed drowning," Angell said. He explained another small craft that was on the reservoir had passed the canoe carrying the Snyders. "Later they heard some commotion and returned to the scene. The craft was overturned and both people were gone."
Angell said the body of Terry Snyder was recovered at the scene, when her body drifted to the surface near the shore. "She was recovered probably because she had some air in her clothing," the chief said. "They didn't have life preservers on. There's a rule that I give to people, a 50-50 rule - you have a 50 percent chance of swimming 50 feet in 50 degree water."
According to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers daily lake information report for Sunday, the reservoir temperature was 50 degrees.
The accident happened between Dunkle Corners and Kiasutha, along Route 321. The Ludlow Volunteer Fire Department, the Dive and Rescue Team, Kane fire department, Search and Rescue troopers from the state police and Glade Township Volunteer Fire Department were among those responding. The canoe was found about 100 to 125 feet from shore.
Using registration information, the emergency crews were able to identify the owners of the boat.
Because no one saw the accident take place, rescue workers didn't have a credible search area, Angell said. Glade Township has side-scan SONAR and an underwater, remote-operated camera that were used in the search.
"When we don't have a credible witness account, we depend on technology rather than putting divers in harm's way," Angell explained. Divers and crews worked from before noon on Sunday until it became dark, then volunteers from Glade Township continued the search using technology. A state police helicopter was also used.
"They came up with nothing," Angell said. One diver was on the scene on Monday.
As of late Monday, Mike Snyder's body had not been found. McKean County Deputy Coroner Sam Cummings said Monday night that Mike Snyder is presumed dead.
On Sunday, there were six volunteers with the Dive Team on the scene. They were on stand-by, and didn't enter the water, according to Ludlow Fire Chief Chuck Hall.
On Monday, there were nine members of the Glade Township boat rescue unit on the search, seven officers from the state police, and two members of the Ludlow department, Hall said. State police helicopters were used both Sunday and Monday.