CRESCENT TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – Plans to add more buoys have been delayed just days after two young women were swept over a dam and killed while kayaking.
Jim Skal comes to the Ohio River, near Crescent Township to fish, kayak and spend time near the water.
“It’s the beauty of the place and I’m sure that’s what those young ladies were out to experience,” Skal said as he fished Wednesday morning.
He was one of several volunteers who helped search for missing kayaker, 25-year-old Helene Brandy, after the kayak she and a friend were in, went over the Dashields Dam. Brandy and 25-year-old Brittany Evans were kayaking on the river on May 20.
“There’s a lot of nooks and crannies behind the barges and so on, where they weren’t getting to, and in a kayak you can do that, and that’s what I was doing, I was going back behind the barges and places where they could only cruise by,” Skal said.
Evans’ body was found shortly after the accident. Brandy’s body was pulled from the river Sunday afternoon, near Leetsdale.
Responding to a request for more warning signs at the facility, the Army Corps of Engineers plans to put more buoys – both upstream and downstream – near the dam. A spokesman confirms seven additional buoys will be placed upstream and five will be set downstream.
“When you look downstream you don’t see them very well,” said Skal, “So if there were more of them maybe that would help, or bigger ones even.”
A boat with the pillar buoys will come from Emsworth and if the river conditions allow, the buoys may be set on the lower end Wednesday.
Skal says more warning signs could only help.
“The currents are incredible and if you’re not an experienced paddler, you get caught up in the strong current, you have no idea what to do, you haven’t learned, anything’s possible and danger is a very real reality,” he said.