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September 24, 2018

Second Fisherman Caught in River’s Waters Dies


A second fisherman who had to be rescued from the rapidly rising waters of the Oswego River has died.

Clifford Luther, 52, of Horseheads, died at Oswego Hospital Tuesday, a week after his rescue.

Leonard Nichols, 45, of Wellsburg, drowned in the river that day.  Two other men were rescued by city firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard.

The deaths prompted an investigation into whether the company that controls a dam on the river gave fishermen enough time to get out of the water before opening the dam.

Brookfield Power said, and police confirmed, that it set off warning sirens that warn fishermen the river’s level is about to rise.

Police said they wanted to know when the power company sounded the alarm and when it opened the dam.

A day later, heavy rains caused a sudden rise in water levels that trapped more than a dozen fishermen on a small island in the middle of the river.  They, too, had to be rescued.

Oswego Mayor Randy Bateman holds a public meeting tonight at the Econolodge to discuss ideas to make fishing safer for the fishermen who crowd into the river’s waters each year for Salmon fishing season.

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