WATERVLIET, N.Y. (NEWS10) – A Watervliet High School student died after he fell into the Hudson River while fishing. The school said that Matthew Billetts, 16, was an 11th grader at the Jr.-Sr. High School.
The Watervliet Fire Chief said that Billetts was fishing with a friend when he had an unknown medical episode and fell off the dock at Hudson Shores Park. The friend called 911 and crews responded quickly.
“This was just a rarity. He didn’t do anything wrong. He was fishing. He was just in the place at the wrong time when it happened,” said Watervliet Fire Chief Thomas Garrett.
Dive teams recovered his body after about 50 minutes of searching. They performed CPR and Billetts was taken to Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Watervliet Jr.-Sr. High School was on a two-hour delay Tuesday morning after the tragedy. School officials said that counseling and bereavement support would be available to all students and staff.
There will be a candlelight vigil on Tuesday night at the Watervliet High School football field to honor Billetts. The event is set to begin at 7 p.m. and run until 8 p.m.