Two people are dead after drowning in Newfield on July 12. Carissa A. Stone, 27, of Newfield, and Michael R. Mayer, 29, of Van Etten, drowned in the unofficial swimming area on Newfield Depot Road new Adams Road.
According to a joint press release from Ithaca Fire Department and Newfield Fire Company, one person was caught in the boil of a waterfall and drowned, and the second person got caught up in the raging waters and drowned while attempting to save the first person.
Firefighters from IFD’s Rope Rescue Team were lowered into the gorge on a rope system to gain access. Between nightfall and the high-water, it took three hours to recover the deceased. According to the Tompkins County Sheriff’s Office, the two adults were swimming with three children, including the 5-year-old child of the deceased and their 9-year-old nephew and niece. They witnessed the incident but were uninjured.
The deaths have been ruled accidental. All agencies involved cautioned against swimming in unsupervised areas, especially given the fast and high water conditions due to recent rains.