Ithaca Fire Department warns swimmers of gorge dangers

first_img“A lot of folks think, ‘Well there’s deep water so I can swim here and I’ll be fine,’ but it might not be as deep as they think,” he said. “Even though it might not look like the water is moving that fast, there are unpredictable currents that pull people in so they can’t get out of the water.” ITHACA (WBNG) — The Ithaca Fire Department is warning anyone thinking about swimming in unauthorized swimming areas to make other plans. “I understand why you want to do it, but probably the best choice is to find another site that has lifeguards and is designed for people to go swim,” he said. Weinstein said he understands the appeal, but swimming in the gorges is just too dangerous. The departments say they have noticed an uptick in incidents involving swimmers in the city’s gorges this year, and have already made eight rescues. “Folks working here will tell you we’ve been in the gorges more this month than probably all of last summer,” said Assistant Fire Chief Brian Weinstein. But whatever the case may be, Weinstein said the Ithaca Fire Department is asking people to stay clear of the dams. Weinstein added injuries in the gorges can put first responders in danger. According to, swimming at Ithaca’s first and second dams along Six Mile Creek is prohibited by the city. Weinstein says the dams are off limits for a reason. While public swimming areas at Ithaca’s Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman State Parks are closed this weekend due to heavy rains, the parks are expected to re-open by Monday. “We have to hike into places that aren’t designed for occupancy, we have to use ropes, we have to use specialized equipment to get people out,” he said. “So before we can even get them medical care we have to get in there.” “I don’t blame you for wanting to go there,” he said. “I think they’re beautiful places, but you should pick a place that’s a little bit safer.” Weinstein said the uptick may be due to the coronavirus, as people are looki g for activities to dolast_img

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