Updated 05/29/2012 10:21 PM
Search to continue Wednesday for teen who disappeared in Mohawk River
A teen who went into the Mohawk River late Tuesday afternoon is still missing. Innae Park has been following the latest developments from Amsterdam and has more.
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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Crews say the search for a missing 19-year-old man who went into the Mohawk River has turned into a recovery effort.
Police say it happened near Lock 11 in Amsterdam late Tuesday afternoon where Eduardo Figueroa was swimming with family members.
Amsterdam Police Lieutenant Detective Kurt Conroy said, "There were several people in the water swimming. It was a hot day, 90 degrees, they came down to the water to swim."
Figueroa is now presumed to have drowned.
Witnesses say Figueroa grew tired while attempting to swim across the channel to Bronson Island to help his younger brother and that's when he went under. Maria Caliz, a friend of the family who was also there at the lock, tells YNN that the teen has had a mental disability his entire life.
Caliz said, "All the people told him ... 'Come back, come back, come back.' Because he no listen, just more swimming."
Crews immediately launched a boat to find the teen, but were forced to stop after the storm caused a strong current and too much debris.
"It's really dangerous right now. There's really large logs in the water coming through," said Conroy.
The swimming is an activity police say shouldn't be happening in the first place.
"The lock is closed to the public since we had the flooding last year and there are signs up saying it is closed to the public," said Conroy. "It's not a safe place to swim. There's nothing to grab onto. The water is probably 20 to 25 feet deep in the center of the channel. They weren't using any life preservers or life jackets or anything like that. You get out there and get in the water and you don't think it's too far, but it looks a lot further than it is to cross that island."
Police want to stress that the lock is closed to the public.
The search will resume at 8 a.m. Wednesday.