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2 area hiker rescues this week and 1 fatal drowning

Local News

In a matter of two days, area crews responded to three separate rescue missions involving outdoor recreation-gone-wrong in Chenango, Tompkins and Cayuga Counties. One resulted in a death.


New York State Police are investigating a fatal drowning incident that occurred Wednesday (May 27) in the Chenango River, near State Route 80 and County Route 23 in the village of Sherburne.

Troopers say an 18-year-old male and three friends were swimming just after 5 pm when he began to have difficulty staying above water.

At that point, a witness tried to help the struggling male but his body never resurfaced.

It wasn’t until hours later that his body was discovered by search crews with the NYSP Underwater Recovery Team and divers and the Chenango County Bureau of Fire.

A medical examiner responded and pronounced the death, then next of kin were notified.

Also responding were teams with the village of Sherburne Police and Fire Departments, along with North Norwich Fire Department.


Photos provided by NYSP:


Also on Wednesday, a rope rescue was required to save a 19-year-old who fell off a 20 ft cliff near Salmon Creek Falls in Lansing.

Responding around 2:30 pm to Ludlowville Park were crews from the Lansing Fire Department, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office and Bangs Ambulance.

Ithaca Fire Department’s Rope Rescue Team was then called in for assistance and helped paramedics navigate to the patient and initiate care.

He was eventually flown via Life Net to Upstate Medical Center, where his last condition is unconfirmed.

The entire operation took about two hours.


Photos taken by Ithaca Fire Department:


On Tuesday (May 26), members of the Cayuga County Sheriff’s Department responded to help two others described to be in their late teens injured from a fall at Carpenters Falls in the Town of Niles.

Just after 4 pm, the pair reportedly fell from atop the falls to the shallow pool below.

Witnesses at the scene helped remove the injured hikers from the ravine to safety, both of whom were then medivaced to Upstate.

Their conditions are reportedly non life-threatening.

Interviews of nearby witnesses who saw the fall confirmed it to be an accident.

Multiple agencies in Cayuga County assisted at the scene.

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