Trooper dies from accidental drowning on Great Sacandaga Lake

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GREAT SACANDAGA LAKE, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Police are confirming the death of one of their own, a trooper working on the Great Sacandaga Lake on Sunday. Superintendent Kevin P. Bruen announced the name of the trooper killed as Trooper James J. Monda, 45, of Schenectady County, on Monday.

During a Monday press conference at Troop G Headquarters in Latham, Bruen said that Trooper Monda’s death was due to an accidental drowning.

He added that Monda and another trooper were working together patroling the lake as part of a marine detail. Bruen would not go into detail but said that Monda had been wearing NYSP diver gear and had gone under the water at a boat launch in Fulton County, even though Monda is not a member of the state police’s dive team.

He said Monda went underwater at a boat launch and never resurfaced, and it was his partner who discovered him in 9 feet of water.

“A preliminary investigation has revealed that they were at the dock and Trooper Monda entered the water wearing division diving gear. During a short dive, Trooper Monda did not resurface. The other trooper, who is a member of our Underwater Recovery Team, our dive team, jumped in and located Trooper Monda at the bottom of the lake in approximately 9 feet of water,” said Bruen.

Monda was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital where he died. Bruen said the investigation was ongoing but added that any medical event was ruled out druing an autopsy.

Trooper Monda entered the State Police in September 2002 and served with the State Police for 18 years. He served most of his career in Troop G. He was assigned to Troop B for nearly a year following field training, before returning to Troop G. His last assignment was SP Princetown. 

The Great Sacandaga Lake is about 29 miles long, near the southern border of Adirondack Park in Fulton, Saratoga, and Hamilton Counties. It extends toward Johnstown and Gloversville.

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