Search continuing for last missing boater
LAKE HAVASU CITY — The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to search for Raegan Heitzig, the last person still missing from a boat collision Sept. 1 in the Colorado River near Topock Marina.
As is the MCSO’s policy, it will not publicly identify the missing boater until the person is found, after it’s known who the person actually is, and only once the person’s family is notified of the development. Heitzig has been identified as the remaining missing boater by family and friends.
“It’s our deepest desire to locate the last missing boater. We wish nothing more than to provide a measure of closure to the family,” Sheriff Doug Schuster said. “Lake Havasu and the Colorado River have been sites of many boating collisions during the years.”
Nine people were injured and four people were missing. Three of the four later were found dead: Brian Grabowski, 50, of Tulare, California; Kirra Drury, 24, of Ventura, California, and Christine Lewis, 51, of Visalia, California.
There were 16 people on two boats at the time of the crash. Everyone was thrown into the water as a result of the crash, and the boats sank.
Schuster responded Monday to concerns expressed regarding the safety of emergency personnel conducting search and recovery efforts.
The MCSO has “always handled these incidents with the utmost professionalism,” Schuster said. “We are not jeopardizing the safety of our staff. Safety is always a top priority when dealing with these types of incidents. ... We are well trained in how we handle these unfortunate accidents. We have not changed the way we do business.”
At this point, dive operations aren’t occurring and searchers are focusing on top water and the shoreline down river near Lake Havasu.
If conditions somehow warrant a change in the efforts, those conducting the search will react accordingly, Schuster said.
“We are on it and doing everything we can do,” he said.
Schuster also explained that it could take weeks “if not months to compile the data and complete a thorough investigation as to the cause of the accident.”
The MCSO has asked that people wanting to use the waterway be aware of law enforcement vessels out searching for Heitzig and to proceed with caution.