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AVON, Conn. (WTNH) — The search for two missing swimmers along the Farmington River is suspended again Sunday due to dangerous conditions on the water.
Officials with the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) tell News 8 the search ended around 11:15 a.m. Sunday. The water level is too high and conditions remain dangerous.
“DEEP will be meeting with the Army Corp of Engineers and MDC tomorrow to discuss how to manage the high water level,” said an official from DEEP.
DEEP EnCon will be monitoring the shorelines of the river, but will not resume the search Monday.
Friday officials announced the search is now a recovery mission.
Plainville Police, State Police, and the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) are involved in the search. Crews started searching the water Thursday evening right along the Avon-Canton town line.
Rescue teams from across the state searched the Farmington River when the search resumed Friday, with search teams scouring the water while police combed the banks of the river, flying a drone overhead to look for any signs of the missing teens.
Authorities believe 17-year-old Anthony Nagore of Plainville and 15-year-old Lucas Brewer went into the Farmington River up by the old pumping station in Avon sometime after 1 p.m. Thursday afternoon.
“The vehicle was found a short distance away from the river, from where we’re standing, and articles of clothing and two cell phones were recovered on the bank of the river,” said Capt. Keith Williams of the State Environmental Conservation Police. “All indications right now seem that these two individuals went into the water.”
“With the river conditions the way they are now, it’s very dangerous. The currents are unpredictable, the depths are unpredictable,” Williams said.
A neighbor living nearby told News 8 he saw the two boys and tried to warn them away from the popular swimming and tubing spot, which has become more dangerous because of recent heavy rains.
People who walk near the river regularly told News 8 they have never seen it like this before.
“Not even a quarter-mile from here, where the bend is on this side, the bend is absolutely raging,” said Bristol resident Dan Saccu.
Due to rainfall, water levels are high on the river. DEEP was working with officials to get the water level dropped.
Earlier in the day Friday, the Army Corps of Engineers tried to reduce the amount of water coming over from the Colebrook Reservoir in an attempt to get water levels down. But in around six hours, they only got about six inches of water to go down, which they say is not nearly enough for safe rescue conditions.
Divers were not able to go into the water either on Friday. They are hoping for more success in the now recovery efforts starting tomorrow.
Plainville Superintendent Steve LePage released a statement on Friday saying:
As you may have seen on the news this morning, two teenage students went missing after it was believed they went swimming in the Farmington River on Thursday. One of these students is from Plainville and attends Plainville High School. The other student is not from Plainville, but was visiting family in Plainville. The Avon Police Department’s search for these students continues, and we will remain hopeful for their safe return. I am in regular contact with our Plainville Police Department leadership, who is collaborating with Avon on this search effort. In partnership with the District, Cornerstone Counseling Center is available to support all staff, students and families during this difficult time. They can be reached at 860-863-1001. Please monitor your children and family members and call if anyone needs support. I will share any additional information as it becomes available. Please keep these two students and their families in your thoughts and prayers.Steve LePage, Plainville Superintendent of Schools
If you have any information, you are asked to call Plainville Police.
News 8 will update this story as more information comes in.