CROTON FALLS - One man is dead and another is recovering this morning after falling out of their fishing boat and into the Croton Falls Reservoir in Putnam County yesterday.
Officials say John Scales, 73, and Joe Gay Jr., 82, both of Manhattan, somehow fell out of the boat around 3 p.m. Gay was able to swim to the shoreline and talk to emergency crews when they arrived on the scene, telling them that Scales was down in the water. That set off a major search both by land and air, as police called in divers.
"Once the dive teams got here, we brought two divers out. We had two guys searching the water, searching the last known area of where the victim went down," says Croton Falls Fire Chief Jason Blauvelt.
Divers found Scales after he been in the water for about an hour, but attempts to revive him were not successful.
Meanwhile, Gay was taken to Putnam Hospital Center in Carmel. He has since been released.
The boat did not capsize as originally reported, but it is still unclear at this time what caused the fishermen to lose their balance and fall. Both men were in possession of personal flotation devices, but neither was wearing them.
The Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees the reservoir, continues to investigate the incident.
Fishing is permitted in reservoirs, and investigators say the pair had the proper permits.