A day in the water turns tragic when a male swimmer went missing.
A search and rescue mission quickly turned into a recovery operation at Puffer's Pond.
After several hours, according to Northwestern District Attorney Mary Carey, the man’s body was found just before six o’clock Friday.
He has been identified as Jacob Johnson, 21, of East Bridgewater.
The body was recovered by the Massachusetts State Police dive team in addition to several local divers.
Now, local first responders are urging swimmers to remain vigilant and heed caution.
With the weather warming up, Amherst Fire chief timothy nelson says this is a good time to reinforce best practices in the water.
“Don’t be ashamed if you’re not a strong swimmer,” said Amherst Fire Chief Timothy Nelson. “There is no need to show off your prowess.”
The mercury may be on the rise, but the water can still be cripplingly cold.
“The water might seem inviting at first, but that’s just the first foot/foot and a half,” Chief Nelson went on to say. ”Below that, the water is
still very cold in ponds and streams. swimming in colder water will sap your strength really quickly.”
Puffers pond is known to be a popular spot for cliff jumping and while the circumstances surrounding Friday's accident are unclear, Chief Nelson says it is critical to avoid risky behavior.
“Jumping off a cliff or a dam,” Chief Nelson went on to say. “The water may seem deep, but that could be a depth perception problem. You really don’t know what’s below the surface.”
As always, drinking and drugs should never be consumed while swimming and if you see someone in trouble dial 911 right away, however.
The D.A.’s office does not suspect any foul play in this case.
The investigation into yesterday’s death is still ongoing, but first responders say to keep safety in mind at all times.
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