RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Two women are still missing in the James River after going over Bosher’s Dam, a low head dam visible from the Edward E. Willey Bridge. The two women were in a group with ten other people when all 12 fell over the dam. Ten of the 12 people were safely brought back to shore.
Rescue crews resumed their search for the missing women at 7 a.m. after searching for most of Monday afternoon and evening. They are searching in the area from Bosher’s Dam downriver to Huguenot Bridge.
The search is still labeled as a rescue mission rather than a recovery mission but crews will “reevaluate later,” according to Henrico Police.
Henrico Police identified the two missing women as 23-year-old Lauren E. Winstead, of Henrico County, and 28-year-old Sarah E. Erway, of Chesterfield County. Henrico Police met with family and friends of the missing women Monday after receiving the missing persons report.
Richmond Fire assistant chief Jeffrey Segal said it’s not clear what kind of floatation devices the group was using.
“They’re recovering,” Segal said of the people who were rescued from the river. “One of the victims self-transported through a personal vehicle to the hospital. And the others went to our reunification center that we set up for the families at station 25.”
The 8News drone was in the air recording video as rescue crews deployed on boats near the dam. The video shows several recreational watercraft churning at the dam.
On Monday night, Segal said of the rescue that, “We’re very hopeful, but I wouldn’t say it’s classified as a recovery.”
“We were very grateful for that, because it was very busy for a short time period when you had two incidents going on at once,” Segal explained. “Therefore, when you have Chesterfield, when you have Henrico and other support, jurisdictions close by that can help, it’s very helpful.”
Richmond Fire has had help from Chesterfield, Henrico, Hanover, Goochland, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and other kayakers in the search.
Police urge anyone using the James River to do so using extreme caution and to have a floatation device as there is a lot of debris in the river.
Officials called off the search for the women just before 7 p.m. Tuesday evening. Police said the search will resume Wednesday morning around 7 – 7:30 a.m. Neither woman has yet to be found.