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Erie County Sheriff's office identifies swimmer who drowned in the Niagara River

The Erie County Sheriff's Office recovered the body of 37-year-old Nathan Farkas of North Tonawanda Wednesday morning.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The Erie County Sheriff's Office has identified the man who drowned while swimming in the Niagara River. The man was reported missing Tuesday when he did not return to shore. 

The body of Nathan Farkas, 37, of North Tonawanda, was recovered downriver from the south Grand Island bridges.

On Tuesday afternoon deputies received reports of a man who went swimming in the east branch of the river, but never returned to shore. Investigators said two male swimmers entered the river and tried to swim to a bridge pylon, then one of the swimmers noticed the other was no longer visible.

Several agencies assisted in the search, some of which include the Buffalo Police, Niagara County Sheriff's Office, and the U.S. Coast Guard. 

Eight boats, three underwater recovery teams and K-9's stopped their search for the male swimmer at 9 p.m. Tuesday for safety reasons before resuming at 7 a.m. Wednesday. 

Erie County Sheriff's Office public information officer Scott Zylka says this is the first time a swimmer went missing this summer in the Niagara River. He reminds everyone to be cautious, no matter how good of a swimmer they may be.

"It may look calm on the surface of the water. However, the current underneath there is maybe as high as 30 miles an hour depending on where you are. So it may look calm, it may look easy but never underestimate the power of water and certainly not the Niagara River or Lake Erie."

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