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Gates Police identify canal drowning victim

Created: 06/28/2014 3:38 PM WHEC.com
By: Howard Thompson

The Gates Police Department has identified the man who drowned after jumping off an old bridge on the Erie Canal earlier this week.

Police say 21-year-old Christopher James was the man who did not resurface after he and several of his friends jumped from the bridge.

Crews were called to the canal on Thursday around 4:30 p.m. after James did not resurface after jumping in. Firefighters and rescue personnel searched for forty minutes before they found his body.

Gates Police Chief Jim VanBrederode  said on Thursday it's never safe to go into the canal.

"The canal is not a safe place to swim, you have a current, there's debris in the water as well as the wall. The banks are approximately 18 to 20 feet tall, which makes it hard to get out of the canal. This is a terrible tragedy that happened, but clearly preventable if we just keep the kids out of the canal."





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