Intensive search continues for missing victim of crash

September 7, 2018

TOPOCK — Searchers on Thursday continued scouring an 18-mile stretch of the Colorado River in efforts to find a woman missing since Saturday’s fatal boat accident near Pirate’s Cove Marina.

Emergency personnel from six area agencies concentrated efforts on an area between Pirate’s Cove, south of Needles, to the North Basin of Lake Havasu, according to reports from the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue unit.

Raegan Heitzig, 26, of Ventura, California, remains missing.

The bodies of three other boaters were recovered earlier this week: 51-year-old Christine Lewis, of Visalia, California, was found Monday while 50-year-old Brian Grabowski, of Tulare, California, and 24-year-old Kirra Drury, of Ventura, were found on Tuesday.

They were among 16 people on two boats that collided around 8 p.m. Saturday between Topock Marsh and Pirate’s Cove. Nine others were injured — two critically.

All 16 boaters went into the water; 12 were brought to safety, either by other boaters or by swimming to the shore. None were wearing life jackets, the sheriff’s office reported.

Raegan Heitzig’s sister, Jordan Heitzig, and Grabowski’s wife, were among the injured, according to news accounts in their hometown area.

Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster earlier this week said recovery of the missing boaters was the first objective of his department’s efforts along the river.

“It is our deepest desire to provide a measure of closure for the family and all involved,” Sheriff Doug Schuster said earlier in the week. “We will continue to do everything within our means to do so and pray for a speedy resolution.”

According to the MCSO Search and Rescue Facebook page, Thursday’s search efforts included personnel from MCSO, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, the San Bernardino County Fire Department, the Lake Havasu City Police Department, the Arizona Game and Fish Department and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

Personnel were searching the surface from boats, walking the shorelines and using drones to access hard-to-reach areas. Divers from the Lake Havasu City Police Department participated in Thursday’s efforts.

“Search efforts remain ongoing,” the Search and Rescue post concluded.

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