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Louisville Crews Continue Searching River Following Saturday's Boat Accident

Cory Trenholm kept his eyes on the water Monday morning, steering a rescue boat to dodging debris on the Ohio River.

Trentholm, 29, is an eight-year veteran of the Louisville Fire Department and part of the search effort hoping to recover three people still missing after their rented pontoon boat rammed a construction staging barge Saturday night, sending them into the river.

Two died in the accident and four others aboard the boat were sent to the hospital, officials said.

Two adults and a child were still missing on Monday.

Daria Raymore said her brother, Danal Swinney, is one of the missing. His girlfriend and young daughter are the others, she said.

"We never expected anything like this to happen," she said. "We love them, we feel like the search should continue, we feel like there should be boats on tops of boats out here because they matter to us.”

Boats with Louisville Police, Louisville Fire, Coast Guard and the Department of Fish and Wildlife are searching the river. Helicopters search from above.

On Monday, the current was too swift—the river too full of debris—to send divers into the river, said Dan Assef, commander of the Louisville Police Dive Unit.

Trentholm is also a diver with the fire department. He's no stranger to the bottom of the Ohio River, but he said Monday was not a day to be in the river.

“On days like today as soon as you would get in the water you would be swept downstream and not be able to swim any kind of search pattern at all," he said.

So, he helmed a search boat with Capt. Tony Downs of Louisville Fire Department Engine Two.

Downs said crews are using their eyes and sonar to search the surface of the river and it's banks. They're looking for anything that might lead them to find the three people still missing.


Jacob Ryan joined LPM in 2014. Ryan is originally from Eddyville, Kentucky. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.