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Rochester woman ID’d in drowning accident at Chimney Bluffs State Park

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office has provided an update to the tragic drowning incident involving a 20-year-old Rochester woman, identified as Deanna R. Melvin.


The incident occurred in Lake Ontario near The Chimney Bluffs State Park in Huron on July 22.

The Sheriff’s Office reported that a 911 distress call was received around 2:07 p.m. that day, indicating two people were struggling in the water. On arrival, emergency personnel found a 28-year-old male had been pulled ashore, but a young female, later identified as Melvin, had disappeared underwater. Bystanders had managed to secure the male using a lifejacket, but attempts to locate Melvin proved unsuccessful.

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Dive Team, assisted by the Sheriff’s Marine Patrol, Road Deputies, the New York State Police Aviation Unit’s Helicopter, Troopers, and the United States Coast Guard, eventually located Melvin underwater in the vicinity of her last known location. The 28-year-old male was transported to Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, NY for precautionary checks and was later released.

Preliminary findings suggest that Melvin was part of a group of six people who had rented a pontoon boat for the day. It is believed that Melvin and the male swimmer had limited swimming experience, and challenging lake conditions may have contributed to the tragedy. An inspection of the rented pontoon boat by the United States Coast Guard confirmed that all safety requirements were met. The investigation is ongoing as authorities work to inform all of Melvin’s family members.