Search crews recover body of missing swimmer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Search crews recover body of missing swimmer

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On the New Haven River in Bristol people were trying to beat the heat.

"It's a lot rougher than normal because of the rain, but it's not that bad," said Kaitlyn Truglia of New Jersey.

"Growing up surfing it's not hard with the currents," said Caleb Stratton of California.

What might be a risky move seems even more dangerous after a swimmer drowned in this river less than 24 hours ago.

Steven Orvis, 26, of Bristol, was swimming with a friend on the Fourth of July when they lost sight of one another in the swollen river. His friend made it out. Water rescue teams and first responders searched for several hours for Orvis before dangerous conditions forced them to suspend their efforts. Crews resumed the search Friday morning, locating Orvis' body about three-quarters of a mile from where he was last seen near Bartlett Falls.

"The conditions are treacherous," Vt. State Police Lt. Jim Cruise said. "We've been monitoring flow rates all night and this morning and it was significant enough we weren't going to deploy a dive team, we're using surface operations only."

Reporter Gina Bullard: So, you'll keep swimming?

Sam Moritz/New York: Sure. Well, maybe I'll pause first, but I'll think about it.

Police can't order people to stay out of the water, but say with the wet weather pattern we've been having it's too dangerous to swim in rivers like this one right now.

"As waterlogged as everything is, with a little rain the conditions are going to change minute by minute, so you have to be cognizant where you're swimming safety is first and you gotta know what you're doing," Cruise said.

"Because of the water so raging fast, we decided not to," said Anna Mikan of Burlington. "It seems like it's really unsafe."

But not everyone agrees.

"Normally the river is not so rough, it's more calm. But this is better because there's more water, so you don't hit the bottom when you jump," Truglia said.

"Stuff like that happens all the time," Stratton said. "I've heard of things like that, but it's never really stopped me I guess."

Along with a strong current, there can also be hazards such as boulders, trees or other obstructions below the water surface that you might not be able to see.

And looks can be deceiving; it can look quiet on the surface, but there can still be a powerful undercurrent. Water levels are going to remain high for the indefinite future. Until this weather pattern breaks, water levels won't even have the chance to begin to recede.

Related Story:

Suspected Drowning in Bristol

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