Search continues for Cornell senior missing after boating on Cayuga Lake

Christopher Dennis

The search continues for a Cornell University senior who disappeared while canoeing.

Police say Christopher T. Dennis, 22, of Ithaca, left a campsite in the Town of Covert at 5:00 Wednesday morning by himself and put a canoe into Cayuga Lake. Covert is on the western shore of Cayuga Lake.

Around noon on Wednesday, friends grew worried because Dennis had not returned and a canoe was found overturned in the middle of the lake. Dennis' friends called 911, and that drew the Seneca County Sheriff's Navigation Patrol along with the Romulus Fire rescue boat.

The Press and Sun-Bulletin reports an informal memorial will be held on Monday. According to the paper, the search will continue until 1pm on Monday, at which time the situation will be reassessed. A state police helicopter was also deployed to scan the lake's shores in search of Dennis.

The search resumed Thursday morning. Officials say they found the capsized canoe in middle of lake. There was no damage to the canoe. Search crews and community members are searching both shorelines. Search crews are also using sonar to search bottom of lake.

The Seneca County Sheriff's Office says searches of the southern end of Cayuga Lake on Thursday failed to turn up any sign of Dennis, who was scheduled to graduate Sunday from Cornell University.

The area of the lake being searched is about 10 miles north of Ithaca.

Friday's search was suspended for the day around 2:30 p.m. due to ever increasing inclement weather. Searchers have endured 4 to 5 foot breaking waves and heavy rain throughout the day.

The search is set to resume Saturday at 8 a.m.

Officials say they plan to continue the search through Monday if necessary.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 315 539-9241.

(Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.)