Updated 05/30/2012 04:30 PM
Missing swimmer's body recovered in the Mohawk River
Crews have recovered the body of a missing swimmer in the Mohawk River. The body of Eduardo Figueroa, 19, was found just after 11 a.m. Wednesday near Lock 11 in Amsterdam. Maria Valvanis reports.
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AMSTERDAM, N.Y. -- Family friend Orlando Ribera said, " I just hope they find him, like everybody does. I know he's not going to be alive, but I just hope they find him."
A hope for the friends and family of Eduardo Figueroa that was granted just a short time later.
Det. Lt. Kurt Conroy of the Amsterdam Police Department said, "The victim's body was found at 11:05 in the Mohawk River. The family has been notified."
Devastated family members arrived on the scene shortly after, comforting each other while trying to figure out how a normal day turned into anything but that.
"The kids spend the whole day here. I guess yesterday, it wasn't one of those days. The family is devastated," said Ribera.
The teen's mother was just one of many family and friends that had been with Figueroa at Lock 11 Tuesday, cooling off from near 90 degree weather.
Amsterdam resident Jonny Lugo said, "The water does suck you in. You can't swim here. You've got a lot of currents, a lot of currents going in different directions."
Because of Tuesday's storms, the search was suspended after just a couple of hours. But six agencies and 33 divers suited up first thing Wednesday morning to pick up where the search had left off.
Conroy said, "He was found in area that we had put up our search patterns, and based on witness accounts, it was very close to where they had last seen him submerge and not resurface."
Witnesses said the teen had thought his younger brother was having difficulty swimming, so he jumped in to help him. With the river's strong current, the teen grew tired and went under.
Conroy tells us the tragedy is an unfortunate reminder of how dangerous this area of the river is.
"This is a tragic accident," Conroy said. "A 19-year-old boy lost his life to cool off on a 90-degree day. But the Mohawk River is not a safe place to swim."