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Crews continue search for man presumed drowned in Chautauqua Lake

Crews on Sunday continued their search for a man presumed drowned in Chautauqua Lake but by 2:30 p.m. had not found his body, authorities said.

The victim, a 48-year-old resident of Chautauqua County, fell off an inner tube or inflatable raft while a boat pulled him Saturday, Sheriff Joe Gerace said. A search involving boats from local fire departments, the sheriff’s navigation unit, its dive team and Starflight, the medical helicopter service, began soon after the first report that someone was missing – just before 7 p.m. Saturday. The search was suspended as darkness fell, and resumed in Sunday morning as a recovery operation.

The man went into the water somewhere between Chautauqua and Mayville, north of the Chautauqua Institution at the northern end of the lake. The lake overall is 17 miles long, two miles wide at its widest point and about 78 feet deep at its deepest point.