Authorities searching for missing Camden man warn of summer safety risks


RuOME, N.Y. (WKTV) -- Safety is at the top of the list for beachgoers at Delta Lake after hearing a 32-year-old Camden man, William Cook, disappeared in the water when trying to save a teenager from drowning.

"It's really scary to be honest," said Breanna Deeley, who was enjoying the nice weather at Delta Lake Tuesday night.

Cook dove off a boat at Delta Lake to save the 14 year old. Another boat rescued the teen, but Cook went under.

"There were floatation devices on the boat, but they weren't worn by the individals that were in the water. The water temperature is very cold and a little choppy," said Sheriff Rob Maciol of the Oneida County Sheriff's Department.

"Especially with water still being really cold I'd probably wear a life jacket now just until it gets warmer so you don't get too cold and start to drown," said Deeley.

It's warm out but it's still early in the season for swimming. The water is only about 45 degrees and that can be too cold for the body to handle.

"There are some concerns that come along with jumping into the extreme cold water," said Sheriff Maciol. "There have been many documented injuries from it."

Doctors say you should wait until the water is at least 60 degrees and it's better to ease your way in from the shore rather than jumping in, which can shock your body and be traumatic for your cardiovascular system. The 14 year old is being treated for cold-water related injuries and is expected to be okay.

The search for Cook will resume early Wednesday morning.

"We take it one day at a time. This just started yesterday so as you know we were out there less than a year ago for almost the same exact thing. That was a search that lasted over a week long," said Sheriff Maciol.

The Oneida County Sheriff's Department is offering boater safety courses. You can find more information here:

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