Two parents died after being pulled into a “swimming hole” underneath a New York waterfall in front of three children Monday.
27-year-old Carissa Stone and 29-year-old Michael Mayer drowned in the West Branch Cayuga Inlet in Newfield after the underwater boil trapped one of the swimmers, leading the other to attempt a rescue, the Miami Herald reported. The couple’s 5-year-old child, along with their niece and nephew, reportedly alerted a driver of the emergency, prompting a 9-1-1 call.
The Newfield Fire Company received a call at around 6:45 p.m and asked for the Ithaca Fire Department’s assistance, according to the Ithaca Fire Department. The two fire departments, along with the Tompkins County Sheriff and New York State Police, arrived at the location on Newfield Depot Road shortly after the urgent call. (RELATED: Mom Admits To Drowning Her Three Kids ‘Softly’ While Apologizing To Them)
The Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office said two adults drowned in the West Branch Cayuga Inlet Monday afternoon. https://t.co/T5D1HvJELf
— WBNG 12 News (@WBNG12News) July 13, 2021
The firefighters trained in Swift Water and High Angle Rope Rescue were lowered into the gorge with a rope where they recovered the two bodies three hours after arrival, the department said. Officials cleared the scene at around 9:30 p.m and the children who witnessed the events did not face any physical harm, according to the Ithaca voice. The victims’ deaths have been ruled “accidental.”
“It appears that one person was caught in the boil of a waterfall and [drowned],” the Ithaca Fire Department’s Facebook post stated. “A second individual contacted a passerby to call for help and then attempted to rescue the first person. Sadly, the second person got caught up in the raging waters and drowned.”
The fire department concluded that swimmers must caution the fast moving waters and only swim if a lifeguard is present.