Emergency personnel continue to search for missing swimmer at Bash Bish Falls

@Dylan Rossiter
A lower section of Bash Bish Falls on June 13, 2017. Photo: Dylan Rossiter/Upstate Courier.

COPAKE, NY — A swimmer who went missing at Bash Bish Falls near the New York/Massachusetts border on Friday night is still missing, as of 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the popular recreation site which sits in New York’s Taconic and Massachusetts’ Bash Bish Falls State Parks shortly after 8:15 p.m. for a missing male swimmer.

Upon arrival, Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies, Copake Fire District, Community Rescue Squad, New York State Park Police, Hudson Fire Department, Egremont Fire Department and Athens Fire Department Dive Team split up and searched for the man.

Copake and Hudson fire departments worked their way up from the lower end of the stream, while Columbia County Sheriff’s deputies and the dive team, Egremont firefighters and the low-angle rescue team started at the top of the falls and worked their way downstream. According to Hudson Valley 360, divers who began their search on the upper end of the falls had to be lowered by rope into the chilly pools at the foot of the falls.

“The terrain is extremely treacherous,” Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett told the website. “Sheer rock cliffs, slippery rocks, treacherous swift water and the lack of light in a remote area absolutely hampered our efforts to locate this individual.”

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After hours of searching, it was concluded that the swimmer must be on the Massachusetts side of the falls and the investigation was handed over to Bay State Authorities.

Massachusetts State Police and the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team were called in to assist.

Utilizing infrared and spot lights, a Massachusetts State Police Helicopter attempted to locate the man.

There are several signs instructing patrons not to swim on the lower end of the falls, but it is unclear if such signage exists above the falls.

[Hudson Valley 360]

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