Saturday, April 13

Search continues this morning for two women who went missing in the James River


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. 10 of 12 were safely brought back to shore.

Rescue crews have been back out on the water since 7 am this morning, looking for the two women after searching for most of the afternoon and evening on Monday.

“We’re very hopeful, but I wouldn’t say it’s classified as a recovery,” Richmond Fire assistant chief Jeffrey Segal told reporters Monday night.

This morning, Henrico Police said they have worked closely with the families of 23-year-old Lauren E. Winstead, of Henrico County, and 28-year-old Sarah E. Erway, of Chesterfield County – listing both women as missing.

The 8News drone was in the air recording video as rescue crews went out on boats near the dam yesterday. The video shows several recreational watercraft hung up at the dam’s 12-foot drop-off.

Segal said it’s not clear what kind of floatation devices the group were using.

“They’re recovering,” Segal said. “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.”

New command center is set up at Huguenot Flatwater Trail (Photo: Sabrina Shutters/WRIC)
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Richmond Fire has had help from Chesterfield, Henrico, the Richmond Ambulance Authority and other kayakers in the search.

“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.”

Crews are out at Huguenot Flatwater Trail to begin Day 2 of searching for the two women who went missing on the James River yesterday. (Photo by Sabrina Shutters/WRIC)

Update as of 10:30 a.m.:

Crews have continued to search the area from Bosher’s Dam to Huguenot Trail Bridge.

Henrico Police met with family and friends of the missing women Monday after receiving the missing persons report.

Police are urging anyone using the James to do so using extreme caution and to have a floatation device as there is a lot of debris.

The search is still labeled as a rescue mission rather than a recovery mission but crews will “reevaluate later,” according to Henrico Police.


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