LITTLE FALLS — Police said an Amsterdam man drowned in the Mohawk River after deciding to swim to shore from Moss Island with a fellow Herkimer County Community College student Sunday afternoon.
Michael Flowers, 21, was identified as the victim by the Little Falls Police Department. His body was recovered by the St. Johnsville Fire Department Water Rescue and Dive Team at the bottom of the river in about 35 feet of water.
Preliminary investigation results indicate the drowning was accidental, and there is no indication of alcohol or substance abuse being a factor in this incident, police said.
Flowers was hanging out with a group of fellow students when he and another male decided to swim across the river around 1:24 p.m. Witnesses said Flowers became tired as he crossed the canal, and was about 20 feet from the other shore when he went under water. The other male attempted to rescue the victim but was unable to. A person walking by heard the yells for help, and called 911.
Police said the Little Falls Fire Department immediately entered the water upon arrival and began searching for Flowers, but he could not be found. Officials called in help from a state police helicopter and the St. Johnsville dive team, and three hours later, a diver found Flowers’ body.
Herkimer County Coroner Vincent Enea was called to the scene, and an autopsy of Flowers’ body is expected as early as today. The family of the victim has been notified.
Also assisting at the scene was Herkimer County District Attorney Jeff Carpenter and members from Herkimer and Montgomery counties’ emergency services.