Accident Database

Report ID# 3828

  • PFD Not Worn or Present
  • Does not Apply
  • Cold Water

Accident Description

Two men missing after canoeing on Ohio River

Posted: May 05, 2014

by Kelly Taylor

CLERMONT COUNTY, OH (FOX19) - Authorities are searching for two men last seen Saturday evening canoeing on the Ohio River. Cameron Buerger, 20, and Marty Stanaford, 19, both of Troy, Ohio, were spotted around 5 p.m. in a canoe near Levanna, Ohio, which is about an hour upstream from Cincinnati. They were headed across the river to the Kentucky side. Sheriff's deputies said the men were seen early Saturday evening on the shore of Dover, Ky. getting out of the canoe. Their cooler was found near the Meldahl Locks and Dam, less than 20 miles away from where they were last seen. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources and the Ohio State Highway Patrol has been searching for the men since Sunday. They were in a green 1999 Old Town canoe that is 15 feet in length and license number OH-1599-ZK. Anyone with information regarding their whereabouts should call 911.

Troy canoeist found dead on Ohio River 

By Nancy Bowman, Contributing Writer

The search continued for one of two Troy men who went missing May 3 while canoeing on the Ohio River after a volunteer found the body of Marty Stanaford, 19, early Friday afternoon. The search for Cameron Buerger, 20, continued and would resume again Saturday, if needed, said Eileen Corson, Ohio Department of Natural Resources spokeswoman.

The young men were spending the weekend at the Buerger family cabin near Ripley in Brown County, Ohio, when they left to cross the river to Kentucky. When they failed to return, a woman who stayed at the cabin while they canoed contacted authorities with the Brown County Sheriff’s Office Saturday night. Search crews from several agencies along with volunteer family and friends have been searching the river area — at one point a 100-mile stretch — since Sunday. A volunteer on a jet ski near Augusta, Ky., found Stanaford around eight miles from where the two were last seen.

The Brown County coroner responded to the area where the body was found. “Certainly finding one of the two helps us. We have new, more defined parameters within to search,” Corson said. Searchers have come from both the Ohio and Indiana sides of the river and have included volunteers from Buffalo Trace Search and Rescue and Ohio Task Force 1 along with Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife, Pendleton County Search and Rescue, an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter and the Coast Guard in addition to searchers from ODNR, which is handling the investigation. Before Friday, searchers had found only a cooler the men had with them. It was found near the Meldahl Dam some 15 miles from the cabin. Their 15-foot green canoe has not been located. Crews are using boats equipped with radar, Corson said. The river was high at the time the men were canoeing and they were not wearing life jackets, she said.

WCPO-TV in Cincinnati reported authorities believe Herb Layford, who saw the two in the middle of the river while doing yard work Saturday, was the last person to see them before they disappeared. “The waves were about two-and-a-half feet high and the wind was up so they were kind of… having a tough time.” Layford told WCPO earlier this week. “I do not know what happened to them after that. It’s just terrible.” Stanaford graduated from Troy High School in 2013; Buerger in 2012. Stanaford’s aunt said earlier in the week that the men were good friends. “They are both good boys,” Sherry Peterson of New Lebanon said while assisting with the search. Larry Earley of Virginia, a friend of the Buerger family, said Cameron Buerger had been to the family cottage and on the river many times. Earley described Buerger as “a nice kid all around.”

Second Missing Canoeist Found

By Breaking News Staff and Nancy Bowman

WHIO Contributing Writer, Dayton Daily News

AUGUSTA, Ky. — The body of Cameron Buerger, the second of the two missing men from Troy who were canoeing on the Ohio River, was found Tuesday afternoon. According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Buerger's body was found at about 2:30 p.m. by an ODNR water rescue officer, between Straight Creek and White Oak Creek on the Kentucky side of the river. The Bracken County Coroner's Office has recovered the body.

Buerger, 20, and Marty Stanaford, 19, had been missing since May 3. A volunteer found Stanaford's body on Friday night. A fisherman found the 12-foot canoe on Saturday nearly 60 miles from the launch point. Matt Eiselstein, ODNR spokesman, said Buerger's body was found three to four miles downstream from the launch site, which was in Brown County, Ky. Stanaford's body was found eight to nine miles downstream. The bodies were found 40 to 50 miles upriver from Cincinnati, Eiselstein said.

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