Group enters waterfall where swimming is banned, New York cops say. One drowns

A man died after he and three others swam at the base of a waterfall where swimming is not allowed, New York authorities said.

The group of four, all between 16 and 26 years old and from the Syracuse area, entered an area marked with “No Swimming” signs at the base of Taughannock Falls in the town of Ulysses around 4:30 p.m. on May 23, New York State Police said in a news release.

They quickly started struggling to stay above water, officials said. Leo M. Nolasco-Cruz, 26, went under and didn’t resurface.

The agency’s Underwater Recovery Team later found his body in the water, officials said.

When crews from the Trumansburg Fire Department arrived, they found three people out of the water near the base of the falls, reported. “Another was reported to still be in the water,” officials told the outlet.

First responders also flew a 19-year-old swimmer to Upstate University Hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia and water ingestion, officials said. He was reported in stable condition.

“It is important to only swim in designated areas when a lifeguard is on duty,” the Trumansburg Fire Department said in a statement to “A casual swim can turn deadly in a matter of seconds if proper precautions are not taken.”

First responders from multiple agencies assisted with the rescue and response, including New York State Park Police, SP Ithaca, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Trumansburg Fire Department, Trumansburg Ambulance, Tompkins County Sheriff’s Department and the Tompkins County Fire Coordinator.

Taughannock Falls is about 10 miles northwest of Ithaca. It “stands three stories taller than Niagara Falls” and plunges 215 feet off a 400-foot gorge in Taughannock Falls State Park, according to

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