UPDATE (12:35 p.m.): This story has been updated with more information from Tompkins County Sheriff Derek Osborne.

Osborne identified the victims of the drowning as Carissa Stone, 27, of Newfield, and Michael Mayer, 29, of Van Etten. Both deaths have been ruled accidental.

Deputies responded to the 100 block of Newfield Depot Road for a report of a possible drowning around 6:40 p.m. on July 12, to a stream called the West Branch Cayuga Inlet. That report came from a driver who was flagged down by three children who were on the scene of the drowning.

The children reported that “they were swimming with two adults and that the adults were swept under water by the current of the stream,” according to police. While their names are withheld, they were identified as close relations of Mayer and Stone, including one who police identified as their child. All three children were not hurt physically, though they did witness the incident.

A waterfall at the drowning scene on Monday night in Newfield. (Photo provided by IFD)

Original story:

NEWFIELD, N.Y.—Two people were recovered after drowning in Newfield Monday night, according to an announcement from the Ithaca Fire Department.

Dispatchers received a report of one person drowning around 6:45 p.m. and sent Bangs Ambulance and the Newfield Fire Company to the area, described as the “unofficial swimming area” on Newfield Depot Road near Adams Road. What followed next:

“It appears that one person was caught in the boil of a waterfall and [drowned],” IFD stated. “A second individual contacted a passerby to call for help and then attempted to rescue the first person. Sadly, the second person got caught up in the raging waters and drowned.”

Upon arrival by Newfield Fire Company, they called in IFD’s Rope Rescue Team to help with the recovery. Trained firefighters navigated rapid water flows to bring the two bodies to shore. The Tompkins County Sheriffs Office, New York State Police and the Cayuga Heights Fire Department all helped with the call, which lasted about three hours.

There may be more information to emerge, as Sheriff Derek Osborne said the sheriff’s office may have a press release on the incident as well, pending family notification.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief at The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.