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Fisherman is presumed drowned at Whirlpool State Park

NIAGARA FALLS – Rescuers spent Sunday looking for a 58-year-old Niagara Falls man who fell into the water and was pulled into the rapids while fishing at Whirlpool State Park just after 7 a.m. Sunday.

The unidentified man was fishing with a companion and tried to get closer to the water when he slipped on a rock and fell into the water, said State Parks Police Lt. Patrick Moriarty.

The current reportedly pulled him around the bend at the whirlpool in the Niagara River and into the rapids. Moriarty said that because of the current and location, the missing man is presumed drowned.

Niagara State Parks Police were joined in the search of the Niagara gorge by the Niagara Falls Fire Department and helicopters from the Border Patrol, Niagara County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Coast Guard.

Moriarty said fishing in Whirlpool State Park is “probably the most dangerous location you can pick to fish.”

“The gorge is a popular fishing destination, obviously fishermen like to get right to the edge, but this one particular spot is right at the bend and the water is going around that bend very quickly and the rapids are just down river from that location,” said Moriarty.

The man’s name will be released after relatives are notified.