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Officials: Man drowns after 60-foot cliff dive in Ticonderoga

Officials: Man drowns after 60-foot cliff dive in Ticonderoga

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TICONDEROGA -- A man in his 30s died after a 60-foot cliff dive near Putnam Pond state campgrounds, Ticonderoga Police Department Sgt. Michael LaVallie said.

The man was approximately 32 years of age and resided in Albany, but was originally from Pennsylvania, LaVallie said.

Police did not identify him Sunday night because his family had not been notified.

The man had been swimming in an unmarked area commonly called "The Quarry," which was described as a mining quarry by Chilson Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Steven Hunsdon.

"It’s one of those things you never label because you’re not supposed to go up there," Hunsdon said.

Three male friends of the same age were also cliff diving. An initial 911 phone call was made at 2:45 p.m.

Police believe the incident was accidental, but the death is open to investigation, LaVallie said.

Dive teams from the Ticonderoga, Putnam and Horicon fire departments were among the more than 30 emergency personnel who responded to the scene.

The water search began at about 4:15 p.m., and the body was recovered at about 5 p.m. by the Ticonderoga dive team.

State Forest Ranger Lt. Gary Friedrich said the body was located about 28 feet below the surface, but the water in that spot was deeper. There was no indication the body struck anything underwater, he said.

Rock Pond, a half mile into the woods, and Putnam Pond are located on Department of Environmental Conservation property. The area has campgrounds and hiking trails.

"To the average passerby it looks like any other pond in the woods," Friedrich said.

Ticonderoga Police Department led the search and were assisted by Ticonderoga EMS, state forest rangers, and Hague and Chilson fire departments. Essex County Director of Emergency Services Don Jaquish and Warren County Fire Coordinator Brian LaFlure were also on scene.

A State Police helicopter from Albany was on standby, but Essex County Coroner Walter "Smitty" Marvin pronounced the body dead on scene.

The Lake George fire department was also called, but was turned back before arriving when the body was found, officials said.

An autopsy is planned for 9:30 a.m. Monday at Adirondack Medical Center at Saranac Lake.

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