20-year-old male has drowned in Deerfield River


Officials have confirmed that a 20-year-old male has drowned in the Deerfield River.

Deerfield Police Chief John Paciorek told Western Mass News, the department received a call just before 5:30 p.m. Sunday for a swimmer in distress.

Several crews from Deerfield, South Deerfield, Northfield and Massachusetts State Police responded to the Stillwater Bridge area of the river and immediately began a search.

However the victim's body was recovered about 50 minutes later.

Witnesses told Western Mass News the man was out in the water when he started having trouble.

They said certain parts of the river can be a difficult to swim in.

"The current can change because it is a dam release river, so that's one of the things people don't realize. One day the current can be one way and even if it rains over night the current can be different another day," said George Milam, of Northampton.

"It's scary. I lost a friend who drowned and he was an avid swimmer, so it just goes to show you never know what the water conditions can be," he continued.

Officials said the river is a popular swimming spot. Several people were in the river at the time of the drowning.

Deerfield police said there are posted swimming areas. However, the location where the victim was swimming was not a posted swimming spot.

The death is being considered as accidental.

Copyright 2015 Western Mass News (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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