SEARCH CONDUCTED FOR SWIMMER MISSING IN COPAKE
At approximately 8:16pm last night, emergency responders were dispatched to the Bash Bish Falls area in Copake Falls for a reported missing swimmer. Sheriff's Deputies, Copake Fire District and Community Rescue Squad were dispatched by Columbia County 911. Additional resources from the New York State Park Police, Hudson Fire Department, Egremont Fire Department and Athens Fire Department Dive Team responded to the scene and a search was initiated.
Members of the Copake and Hudson fire departments along with divers from Hudson Fire Department worked their way up the falls from the lower end of the stream. Several water holes were searched by the HFD divers. Columbia County Sheriff Deputies, Egremont firefighters / low angle rescue team and divers from the CCSO started at the top of the falls and worked their way down.
Sheriff's Office divers from the upper side of the falls had to be lowered by ropes into the pools to conduct their search. It was determined after several hours of searching that the missing individual was in the State of Massachusetts. At that point, the Massachusetts State Police and the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team were called in to assist with the search.
A helicopter from the MSP attempted to search the falls utilizing the infrared as well as spot lights. Due to the scene being in Massachusetts, the scene was officially turned over to the Massachusetts State Police at approximately 11:30pm. As of this time, the missing individual has not been found.
Please keep search personnel and the family members of this missing person in your thoughts and prayers. Sheriff Bartlett personally assisted in the search, leading search team 2 to the upper part of the falls. "The terrain is extremely treacherous," the Sheriff said. "Sheer rock cliffs, slippery rocks, treacherous swift water and the lack of light in a remote area absolutely hampered our efforts to locate this individual."