Commissioner Daniel Derenda of the Buffalo Police Department in New York sadly reports the death of Officer Craig Lehner.

Officer Lehner, 34, drowned during a monthly training exercise with the department’s Underwater Recovery Team. Lehner, who has been a member of the team for only one year, went under water for his training dive using his department issued scuba gear. He was attached to a rope tender and also had a “pony” emergency air tank attached to him as he entered the swift waters of the Niagara River. The dive master had a safety diver standing by as well as other dive team members.

It is currently unknown how, but his safety cable separated and it appears that Lehner had been swept down river. The depth of the water at the training site was 25 feet deep with fair visibility. A search for him along the shoreline down river was not immediately successful. After three days of searching came the determination that the rescue efforts turned to a recovery. His body was finally recovered from the murky depths two days later.

The U.S Coast Guard, Border Patrol, State Police, NYPD, U.S. Navy and Canadian authorities and multiple local police departments also assisted the Buffalo Police Department in the search and recovery efforts.

Craig Lehner was a veteran of the Army National Guard and served nine years with the Buffalo Police Department. He was assigned to the Canine Unit. His mother and sister survive him.

Officer Craig Lehner is gone, but will never be forgotten. EOW: Friday, October 13, 2017.

(Graphics courtesy Rose Borisow GrafX)

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