The 50-foot-high cliffs at Niquette Bay State Park are a popular spot for diving into Lake Champlain.
Emergency responders from Colchester Technical Rescue said they had never responded to a drowning there, but suspected it was only a matter of time. It happened Thursday night.
"Call came in about 10 minutes of 6:00 to Colchester dispatch from multiple cell phones calling 911, indicating a person had jumped off a cliff over at Niquette Bay State Park," explained Mike Cannon of Colchester Technical Rescue.
The diver, identified as 23-year-old Kurtis McKinstry of Colchester, didn't surface.
Three rescue boats from Colchester and one from the U.S. Coast Guard responded to the area. In all, nine divers searched the water for the victim, ultimately finding him 19 feet underwater. Rescuers said visibility was good, even with this week's heavy rain. They found him within 10 minutes of arriving on the scene, but said he had been underwater for about 35 minutes.
"We train in that area," Cannon said. "We have been getting reports of minor injuries in that location from state park personnel, so we pre-planned and anticipated for a day like today."
McKinstry was in cardiac arrest when rescuers brought him to shore. He was transported to Fletcher Allen Health Care, where he was later pronounced dead.
While this was the first fatality these rescuers had responded to in the area, Cannon said injuries are an inherent risk.
"If you don't enter the water correctly, which is the information we initially got, is that he might have entered the water at an odd angle, it usually results in a head injury or some type of impact that might render you unconscious. People need to keep that in mind when they're thinking about diving off large cliffs. You also have to worry about what's beneath the water's surface, whether there's a rock or some type of obstruction."
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>