Mt. Vernon Register-News

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September 3, 2013

Holiday turns tragic at Rend Lake

BENTON — Search crews were combing Rend Lake late Monday afternoon for a missing swimmer.

According to multiple reports, a 911 caller reported a female who was with a group on a pontoon boat, was in the lake when she went underwater and failed to resurface. The call was received by 911 operators about 11:15 a.m. Monday.

Franklin County Sheriff Don Jones reported crews were looking for an 18-year-old girl who went missing off the boat.

The search was taking place north of Illinois Highway 154 bridge near sailboat harbor, about 300 yards west of Wayne Fitzgerrell State Park.

As of 5:30 p.m., crews were still searching for the missing teen.

Sesser Fire Department responded to the scene, along with the Franklin County Sheriff’s Department and a dive team from Franklin County, according to a Benton Fire Department spokesman, who indicated that department was not involved in the investigation.

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