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One missing, one rescued in canoeing accident on Black River


WATERTOWN — One woman was rescued and one man remained missing Monday night after their canoe capsized on the Black River off Eastern Boulevard.

Their identities were not released, and the condition of the woman, who was taken to Samaritan Medical Center, was not available late Monday.

The accident occurred about 6:15 p.m. The woman was pulled ashore by people fishing at the Marble Street public access point off Eastern Boulevard, Jefferson County Detective David J. Pustizzi Jr. said.

Rescuers retrieved the empty canoe nearby and searched for the missing man until 8 p.m. as darkness fell.

“Everyone’s clear from the scene,” Jefferson County Fire and Emergency Management Director Joseph D. Plummer said about 9 p.m. “Everything’s been suspended.”

The search will resume this morning, Watertown city Fire Chief Dale C. Herman said.

Evening traffic slowed and onlookers gathered along the highway bridge to watch as rescuers searched the shoreline and patrolled the river in two rafts above the dam at Delano Island.

The City of Watertown Fire Department, Northpole Fire Company, city police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies responded to the scene, as did the Jefferson County Special Tactics and Rescue team.

The fast-moving Black River was at 7.1 feet Monday night, according to the National Weather Service, below its flood stage of 10 feet after swelling to above 13 feet last week.

On April 27 of last year, a 5-year-old boy who fell into the river downstream and a 47-year-old man who jumped in to try to save him both drowned.

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