Man, 20, drowns at Buttermilk Falls

LONG LAKE – A man drowned in the Raquette River Saturday after police say he was swept down the rocky Buttermilk Falls and pinned by the current.

State police said Nicolas Padilla, 20, of Buffalo was swimming with a friend in the slower moving pools of water below the falls. The two climbed the rocks next to the waterfall and began to traverse the river near the crest of the falls when Padilla lost his footing. Police said he was swept over the falls and became trapped in the current, just below the surface of the river, where he drowned.

It took emergency responders about three hours to pull Padilla’s body from the river, police said.

Hamilton County Coroner Virginia Jennings pronounced him dead and ordered his body removed to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville, where an autopsy is scheduled to be conducted by Dr. Jay Jungen.

State police said their investigation is continuing.

The agencies that participated in the rescue and recovery effort included the Long Lake Volunteer Fire Department, Long Lake Rescue Squad, Tupper Lake Volunteer Fire Department and dive team, Saranac Lake Volunteer Fire Department and dive team, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department, state forest rangers and state police aviation.