A swim in a swollen Barre river turned deadly Tuesday. Police say one boy was struggling in the strong current. A second went to his rescue and both were swept over the falls. Only one survived.
Barre and Barre Town emergency responders got the call shortly before 2 p.m. -- a water rescue on the Stevens Branch River. Officials say a group of teens were swimming in a spot on the river known as "The Falls" and got into trouble.
"What happened was one went to swim across and made it. Another one swam across, got caught in the flow of the current, and was washed over a falls that is down there. So, another juvenile jumped in and tried to help him and was swept over, too," Barre Town Police Chief Michael Stevens said.
Emergency crews staged at a park across from Barre City Elementary School to recover the swimmers. Witnesses say at least two people were transported to the hospital. Police have confirmed one of the male victims is dead. The condition of the other has not been released.
A group of teens in bathing suits stood by stunned as they gave their statements to local police.
"Youngsters do go down swimming; you know the pool is right over here. It's just a tragedy. And with the water running like it is, water holes are not like they would have been, let's say, a month ago," said Stephanie Quaranta, the recreation director for Barre City.
A reminder that with the constant rain, water levels are dangerously high in many area rivers.
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