The following is a "near save" from a dive team un upstate NY. Passed on as FYI.

Man in critical condition at DeGraff

BY JESSICA GASPAR
The Tonawanda News

A 21-year-old man was in critical condition late Monday night after spending 22 minutes underwater in the Erie Canal.

The man was in cardiac arrest when pulled from the water at about 8 p.m. and was taken to DeGraff Memorial Hospital by Twin City Ambulance. Police are withholding the name of the victim until family members can be contacted.

“There was no life signs when we pulled him out of the water,” said Charles Stuart, chief of the City of Tonawanda Fire Department.

The victim and his brother were attempting to swim across the canal from North Tonawanda to the City of Tonawanda when the victim went under, Stuart said. The victim’s brother tried to rescue him but couldn’t.

Once at the scene, two divers from the Underwater Rescue Squad located the man within five minutes after entering the water, Stuart said. Twin City Ambulance and Tonawanda Fire Rescue members administered advanced life support on the man before he was taken to DeGraff.

Before divers arrived, several civilians were assisting first responders to try and pull the man from the water, but couldn’t see anything, Stuart said.

The man’s brother was able to point to the site where he went under the surface of the water, which was about 20 to 25 feet offshore, Stuart said.

Area residents heard the man’s brother screaming for help.

“We were standing on the side of the building and we heard somebody yelling for help — that his brother was drowning,” nearby resident Lindsey Dion said. “So we ran and called 911.”

A similar incident happened last summer about 200 yards away, Stuart said. This type of incident can be avoided, he said.

“It’s illegal to swim in this canal,” Stuart said. “You shouldn’t swim in it, period.”

As of press time, officials at DeGraff would not release details regarding the victim’s condition.

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Canal drowning victim identified

NT man drowned Monday night in Erie Canal


BY PHIL DZIKIY
The Tonawanda News

A North Tonawanda man drowned in the Erie Canal Monday night.

Paul Brick, 21, of 150 Vandervoort St., was pulled out of the canal at about 7:56 p.m., City of Tonawanda Detective Tim Toth said.

The City of Tonawanda Police Department received a 911 call at 7:26 p.m. and was first on the scene. Multiple units from the City of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda responded to the scene, including police and fire departments, the City of Tonawanda Underwater Squad and the North Tonawanda Dive and Rescue teams.

Officials attempted to revive Brick before he was transported to DeGraff Memorial Hospital.

“There was a very weak heartbeat and weak pulse at that time,” Toth said.

Brick’s heartbeat was revived at DeGraff, Toth said, but Brick was still unable to breathe on his own. He was transported to Buffalo General Hospital and was pronounced dead at 11:55 p.m., according to reports.