AMSTERDAM, N.Y. - Severe weather late Tuesday afternoon hampered efforts to rescue a 19-year-old Amsterdam man who went underwater in one of the city's section of the Mohawk River.
Officials will attempt to recover the body of Edward Figueroa, who is presumed to have drowned, in a recovery mission on Wednesday.
According to Lt. Kurt Conroy of the Amsterdam Police Department, their office began receiving emergency calls around 4 p.m. for a man who had gone under the river near Lock 11 of the Erie Canal.
Lt. Conroy said Figueroa, along with a number of family and friends, was swimming in that part of the river. Witnesses told police that Figueroa had begun to swim towards nearby Bronson Island, under the belief that his younger brother, also in the water, was having trouble getting to the island. While attempting to reach the island, Figueroa began to struggle and went under. A friend's attempt to swim towards Figueroa at that time was unsuccessful.
Upon arrival, Amsterdam Police deployed a rubber boat to go towards Figueroa. An incoming storm forced them to pull from the water and call in an airboat from the Montgomery County Sheriff's Office. A second storm then came through as the airboat and divers were ready to enter the river. This second storm, coupled with a heavy amount of debris in the water, was what Conroy said caused authorities to call the search off altogether for the night.
He told NEWS10's Robert Boyd, "Divers were ready to go in and made a determination at that time that it was not safe. It had been a couple of hours since the victim went under."
Authorities will now go back to the river around 8 a.m. Wednesday to try to recover Figueroa's body.
Police were able to rescue a woman who was struggling in the same area early Tuesday morning.