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Divers search for missing paddle boarder near Ashburn

Authorities say the adult female disappeared Thursday evening.

UPDATE 6:45 p.m. — Search and rescue crews have called it a day and are clearing the scene for the night. There has been no sign of the missing paddle boarder who disappeared Thursday evening while her husband waited on shore for her. She has been identified as a 38 year-old from Fairfax County, but no name has been released.

During the search today, which at various times involved divers, boats, drones and a helicopter, the portion of the lake they are exploring was broken up systematically into sections and scoured for any signs of the woman. The Burn has learned that side scan sonar was also used in an attempt to find anything below the waters surface.

UPDATE 3:30 p.m. — The Burn spoke with a rep from the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office. No real update at this point. No one has been found yet and the search continues. The identity of the missing woman has not been released.

UPDATE 12:45 p.m. — At the noon hour, the search continues for the missing paddle boarder at the Beaverdam Reservoir off Belmont Ridge Road. New information at this hour — the missing Fairfax woman is 38 years old. However, her name has not been officially released at this hour. Also, along with the divers, boats, ground searches and helicopter that have been involved in the search, Loudoun County Sheriff’s deputies will be bringing in one of their drones to assist in the operation.

UPDATE 10:45 a.m. — A helicopter has returned to the scene and is circling over the north end of the Beaverdam Reservoir where the search is reportedly focused.

Search for missing paddle boarder

10:15 a.m. — Emergency crews are at the Beaverdam Reservoir near Ashburn again this morning, searching for a missing paddle boarder who disappeared in the area Thursday evening. The missing person has been identified as an adult female from Fairfax County, but her name has not been released as of 10 a.m. Friday.

The Burn has confirmed that dive teams are in the water this morning, and boats from both the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office and Loudoun County Fire Rescue are involved in the search as well.

The emergency call first came in Thursday evening around 7:17 p.m. Crews were dispatched and a cacophony of sirens was heard across much of Ashburn as crews from multiple locations responded to the reservoir near Belmont Ridge Road, south of the Greenway. According to Kraig Troxell, a spokesman for the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office, the woman set off on her paddle board from a point on the west shoreline of the reservoir. She was reportedly not wearing a life vest and was in dark-colored clothing. Her husband was on shore, but at some point, lost sight of the woman. As it began to get dark, he got worried and contacted local authorities.

Boats scoured the shorelines last night and a search helicopter from neighboring Fairfax County was brought in to help in the operation. Reports from the scene said that the helicopter was using its search lights to illuminate the darkness around the reservoir. Specially trained search dogs were also on the scene. This morning, officials confirmed they had recovered the paddle board yesterday evening.

At the time of the woman’s disappearance, there were reportedly other people on and near the water. The Sheriff’s Office is asking anyone who was there and may have seen anything to please contact Det. Alonzo Perry at 703-777-1021. Meanwhile, officials have closed the reservoir to the public for the time being.

Stay tuned to The Burn for additional updates as new information becomes available.

 

6 Comments
  1. feathers 1 year ago
    Reply

    Too many questions.

    “Her husband was on shore, but at some point, lost sight of the woman”…so, he didn’t paddle board too? Was he filming her? Seems odd. If she was a weak swimmer than why not wear a life-suit? If she was a weak swimmer, why didn’t she wear an ankle leash (BTW, all paddle boards come with a leash). From Mt. Hope Rd, if she paddled so far that she was out-of-sight, then she is a pretty accomplished paddle boarder, and the fall/drowning risk would be quite minimal. Something seems off about this whole situation. Hoping for a good ending but fearing the worst.

    • feathers 1 year ago
      Reply

      A correction to above. She launched from the west side, so that’s Reservoir Road. Now this is really not making sense. My question to the husband…which direction did she go? If north, she would run out of water before getting out of site. If she was going south, then I have serious concerns about the whole story, here’s why. On Thursday at 6:20, the wind was still blowing from the south at 10 mph. Those of us that paddle board know a 10 mph headwind on a SUP is like running into a 35 mph gust. So for her to get “out of sight” she’d really need to be a strong paddle boarder. And thus, the fall risk and not being able to get back on her SUP would be quite trivial. Something is not adding up.

    • K.s. 1 year ago
      Reply

      Agree with this. Odd

  2. feathers 1 year ago
    Reply

    Too many questions.

    “Her husband was on shore, but at some point, lost sight of the woman”…so, he didn’t paddle board too? Was he filming her? Seems odd. If she was a weak swimmer than why not wear a life-suit? If she was a weak swimmer, why didn’t she wear an ankle leash (BTW, all paddle boards come with a leash). From Mt. Hope Rd, if she paddled so far that she was out-of-sight, then she is a pretty accomplished paddle boarder, and the fall/drowning risk would be quite minimal. Something seems off about this whole situation. Hoping for a good ending but fearing the worst.

  3. AshburnResident 12 months ago
    Reply

    A horrible tragedy. From the video her husband posted on FB (a ~25 min video of her getting onto the paddle board and eventually drifting out of sight), it looks like her ankle leash was connected to the paddle board when she set off into the water. At least that’s what it looks like to me, but I don’t know anything about paddle boarding, so maybe I’m wrong about that.
    The question I have though, is if she was connected to the paddle board with a leash, and fell off, is the guidance for the paddle boarder to remain connected to the paddle board and float with it (I have no idea how long a paddle board leash is), or disconnect it (to avoid being trapped/tied to it after falling), but still hopefully float with it?
    I’m wondering because they found her paddle board the same night she went missing, and then she was found days later. But if she was connected to the paddle board with the leash, did she fall and then disconnect herself from it? The whole thing is just so sad, but wondering about the leash part.

  4. AshburnResident 12 months ago
    Reply

    A horrible tragedy. From the video her husband posted on FB (a ~25 min video of her getting onto the paddle board and eventually drifting out of sight), it looks like her ankle leash was connected to the paddle board when she set off into the water. At least that’s what it looks like to me, but I don’t know anything about paddle boarding, so maybe I’m wrong about that.
    The question I have though, is if she was connected to the paddle board with a leash, and fell off, is the guidance for the paddle boarder to remain connected to the paddle board and float with it (I have no idea how long a paddle board leash is), or disconnect it (to avoid being trapped/tied to it after falling), but still hopefully float with it?
    I’m wondering because they found her paddle board the same night she went missing, and then she was found days later. But if she was connected to the paddle board with the leash, did she fall and then disconnect herself from it? The whole thing is just so sad, but wondering about the leash part.

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