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Plattsburgh teen drowns; search continues for 2nd swimmer - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Plattsburgh teen drowns; search continues for 2nd swimmer

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PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. -

Grief in Plattsburgh Friday, where the community is remembering a high school senior who drowned in swift water. And crews are still searching for another swimmer who disappeared with him Thursday.

Police say the Flume Fall in Wilmington is a popular swimming area, but the rain we had earlier this week made the river unusually rapid.

"It's been a rough couple of days for everybody in the Plattsburgh High School Community," Principal Glenn Hurlock said.

It was a warm day in the first week of summer when what was supposed to be a fun day in the water became a tragic one. New York State Police recovered 17-year-old Taoufik Maknani's body in the Ausable River in Wilmington.

"He was a big presence in Plattsburgh High School," Hurlock said. "He was well-liked by faculty and staff and students. He was a high school athlete, he played this past year soccer and basketball."

Search and rescue teams spent much of Friday looking for the second missing swimmer.

"Working the boats up and down the river, as well as kayakers, and we have the state police helicopter flying once again in case there's any chance of anyone floating downstream. But we highly doubt that at this point," said Capt. John Streiff of the N.Y. State Forest Rangers. "We think the one subject we're still trying to locate is in that area at the point last seen."

"We understand that it's one of our students," Hurlock said.

Taoufik Maknani was supposed to be graduating from Plattsburgh High School Saturday. Police say he died from asphyxiation due to drowning, and police believe the second swimmer drowned, as well. Graduation at Plattsburgh High will go on as scheduled. Faculty members say they may do something special for Taoufik.

"Anything we do we go to talk to the family about it before we do it," Hurlock said.

Police say rescue teams will continue searching until they find the missing swimmer.

A candlelight vigil is being held Friday at 8 p.m. at Plattsburgh High School.

Related Story:

NY police: 1 body recovered, 1 person missing in possible drowning
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