The body of a man who had gone missing Chautauqua Lake was found at 6 a.m. June 30 by the Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department, ending a search that consumed Chautauqua County emergency services for more than four days.
Ricky L. Whipple, 48, of Conewango Valley, was reported missing on June 25 after he fell off an inner tube in the waters near Chautauqua Institution. He was not wearing a life jacket and did not know how to swim, said Chautauqua Police Chief Al Akin. On Wednesday, officials had scaled back an around-the-clock search for the body that included the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Office, New York State Police, Chautauqua Volunteer Fire Department and patrols from three lakeside towns.
Akin said the body was found about 200 yards from where they had been looking. He cautioned people to always keep safety in mind at the lake.
“Make sure everyone that goes out in the lake takes a life jacket with them, especially if they don’t know how to swim,” Akin said. “It’s just unbelievable that someone jumped into water who doesn’t know how to swim without a life jacket.”