PIQUA — A New Year’s Day on the water has led to a drowning on the Great Miami River in Piqua.
Deputy Piqua Police Chief Marty Grove identified the victim as Kyle Ratcliff, 29, of Quincy.
Lt. Marcos Rodriguez of the Piqua Police Department said dispatchers at the Miami County Communications Center received a call from a citizen at 5:11 p.m. stating they observed a boat in the water near the dam.
A short time later, the same citizen reported seeing what appeared to be a body near the overturned watercraft.
Piqua Police, along with the Piqua Fire Department, responded to the area.
A pair of Piqua Police officers arrived and immediately entered the cold, swift water and brought Ratcliff to the near shore. Piqua Fire Department medics undertook life-saving measures, contacted Upper Valley Medical Center (UVMC) to inform them of a “cold-water drowning,” and transported the victim to UVMC in hope that the cold water conditions might buy some time for the Ratcliff. He was later pronounced dead.
Police and firefighters re-entered the water to recover the victims watercraft and searched the river and both banks to make sure that the victim was alone at the time of the incident.
Grove said that Ratcliff was an avid and experienced duck hunter who had apparently left Port Jefferson at 9 a.m. and was to be picked up by a family member at Treasure Island in Troy.
Family members told police that Ratcliff was very familiar with the river and the dam and had made the same trip as recently as Christmas weekend.
The drowning remains under investigation by Piqua Police.