Recovery efforts continue Monday for woman who fell into Ohio River

Recovery efforts continue Monday for woman who fell into Ohio River
The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says they’re investigating the boating incident that left crews searching for a woman who fell into the Ohio River Saturday night. (Source: Daoud, Natalya)

CINCINNATI, Ohio (FOX19) - The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources says they’re investigating the boating incident that left crews searching for a woman who fell into the Ohio River Saturday night.

Officials say Whitney Crank, 31, of Erlanger, fell overboard when the boat she was riding in hit the wake from another boat.

Crank fell from the boat into the Ohio River before 6:55 p.m. Saturday when firefighters were dispatched to the scene, officials say.

They called off search efforts around 9 p.m. that night.

Six rescue boats, five from Cincinnati and one from Covington, searched for Crank Saturday. Officials said around 40 firefighters and first responders aided the search.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife says Michael Bilokonsky, 32, of Fort Thomas, was also on board the 22-foot boat at the time.

Bilokonsky dove into the river to try to rescue crank, but could not find her, officials say. A nearby boat pulled him from the water.

Search called off for woman in Ohio River

Officials say Crank was not wearing a life jacket at the time of the incident.

Boone County Water Rescue coordinator Ken Purcell says crews will begin recovery efforts again Monday at 5 p.m.

Cincinnati police said Saturday night that they assisted search efforts on the Ohio shore line while Kentucky law enforcement assisted efforts on the Kentucky shore line.

Crews were forced to call off search efforts after 90 minutes and the incident was concluded with negative results, police say.

Crank’s brother, Mark Crank says their family is focusing on finding his sister.

“We are all truly devastated by the events that transpired and words cannot begin to explain the sadness that fills our hearts," he said. "Those who knew Whitney know that their lives were brighter when she was around and she injected a beautiful presence into each of the countless lives she touched. We are trying to make sense of this tragedy with the limited information that has been provided, up to this point. And at this time, all energy will be focused on the remaining recovery efforts.”

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