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Central California Woman’s Body Recovered, 3 Others Still Missing After Boat Crash in Colorado River

A body was found Monday as diving operations resumed in the Colorado River amid the search for four people reported missing after two boats sank following a head-on crash with another vessel along the California-Arizona border, authorities said.

The Mohave County Sheriff's Office located the woman at approximately 7:30 a.m., according to a post on the agency's Facebook page.

She was identified as 51-year-old Chrisi Lewis, a resident of Tulare County. The Mojave County Sheriff's Office initially gave her first name as "Christi."

“We are deeply saddened to hear about the horrible crash on the Colorado River. We know that there will be families right here in Tulare County grieving the loss of their loved ones for days, months and years to come and our hearts absolutely go out to them," a statement from the Tulare County Sheriff's Office read.

Lewis is the stepdaughter of former Tulare County Sheriff Bill Wittman, as well as the daughter of a farm manager in the county, according to the statement.

Search efforts are continuing for the three other boaters -- a male and two females -- who remain missing after the collision, which occurred around 8 p.m. Saturday between Pirate Cove in Needles and the Topock Marina in Topack, Arizona.

A diver involved in the search efforts suffered minor injuries from "a dive related illness" but is expected to make a full recovery, officials with the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said in a statement.

The search area is near San Bernardino County's Moabi Regional Park and north of Lake Havasu.

A Hallett boat with 10 passengers was headed northbound and a Sleek Craft boat with six occupants was going southbound when the boats collided head on, causing both to sink and ejecting all 16 people into the water, according to a statement from the Sheriff's Office.

Passing boaters rescued some of the crash victims, including one critically injured female who was airlifted to a Las Vegas trauma center, according to the statement.

Another critically injured person was also flown to Las Vegas, while nine others were transported to local hospitals.

The missing people were all from the Hallett boat, the statement read.

No one was wearing a life jacket at the time, said Mohave County Sheriff Doug Schuster.

"It's not mandated that they do so, but of course we encourage folks to do that because of situations just like this," he said.

In addition to the Sheriff's Office, multiple agencies -- including the San Bernardino County and Los Angeles County sheriff's departments -- are conducting dive and search operations in the area of the crash.

The injured diver, a detective with the department, has done over ten dives in the last two days as he and other authorities continue looking for the three missing people. He's described as an experienced diver who's been with the agency for over 15 years.

On Sunday, Schuster stopped short of calling the search a recovery effort, but stated that authorities were treating it as a potential drowning.

"Technically, it's a dive mission looking for potential drowning victims, but I don't want to give the interpretation that there isn't a remote possibility that they made it to the shore," he said.

Diving operations in the search were stopped for the day by 7 p.m. on Monday, as darkness and fatigue complicated efforts, officials said. Over 30 divers with law enforcement did underwater searches earlier in the day, authorities said, with the diving operations covering five miles of waterway stretching from the Park Moabi Channel to Topock Gorge.

The Colorado River has been closed indefinitely in the area where the search area is taking place, which is near the Topack Marina.

Schuster noted the defined search area stretches for at least about two miles.