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UPDATE: Swimmer Drowns In Housatonic River
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - The body of the man who police say drowned in the strong currents of the Housatonic River has been recovered.
The man's body was recovered from an underwater pipe around 3:00 p.m. Wednesday
Pittsfield Police have not released the man's name.
PITTSFIELD, Mass. - Emergency workers located the body of a missing swimmer using underwater cameras Tuesday evening.
Friends of the man told CBS 6 they went for a swim just before noon and the man was quickly pulled under water. They tried to hold on to him, but were unable to maintain their grasp.
Investigators believe the man was pulled down by underwater pipes connected to a 100-year-old dam once used to generate electricity for a paper mill. His body was located after more than five hours of searching near a metal grate, but crews were unable to pull him out because of strong currents.
Workers had hoped to get him out by nightfall because debris was collecting around the dam and hampered work. The recovery effort was suspended at 9:30 p.m. after workers unsuccessfully attempted to block the current with a steel plate. They plan to meet at 8 a.m. Wednesday to develop a new plan.
Neighbors say they frequently see teens and young adults in the water despite fencing and warning signs placed by residents and the town.
"The police go by a lot to chase the kids away. One kid last year broke their neck. There's been a stabbing; drinking, drugs," said Joanie Bartlett, who has lived across the river for 18 years.
Fire Chief Richard Czerwinski said the Pittsfield Fire Department has responded to several water rescues in this area before, but this is the first drowning he can recall. He estimated the water was flowing about 1,000 cubic feet per second.
Officials were unable to confirm the man's identity until his body has been recovered and family notified. They estimate he is between 18 and 20-years-old.
"This is the first," said Bartlett. "It's just too bad and it's always a kid, a young kid."