Drowning at the Stillwater Reservoir

The Town of Webb Police are searching for answers after one man drown in the Stillwater Reservoir.

Posted: Jun 25, 2020 6:09 PM

Town of Webb Police say 69 year old Jerry Jennings of Rome was boating Wednesday evening on Stillwater Reservoir with his brother Calvin when their boat overturned. The two were in the water for hours before they were discovered. Jerry Jennings drown, and his brother was sent to Lewis County General Hospital for hypothermia. Town of Webb Police Chief Ronald Johnston says this isn’t the first time there’s been trouble on the Reservoir.

"We have had several deaths over the years. Stillwater Reservoir and the Hamlet of Beaver River have to be navigated very, very closely, and if you’re not familiar with the Reservoir it can be treacherous."

New York State Forest Ranger Matt Savarie is assisting in the search for the missing boat. He explained some of the weather conditions that can affect boat traffic at Stillwater.

"A lot of times when you get around the main point, there will be a wind coming out of the big bay to the south here, Twitchell Bay, and just because it’s calm in here doesn’t mean it’s always calm once you get out into the middle of it, so that’s typically the issue…or shoals if people hit the shoals."

Harrisville Resident Carl Pierce and his family come here to fish. He warns boaters to be aware of the shoals that lie below the surface of the water, but the real trouble can come from above.

"When the wind’s coming from different directions it can get really rough, and we’ve actually been here on a couple rescues where it was that rough."

Police don’t know what caused Jennings boat to capsize, but Chief Johnston says the weather may have been a factor.

"Right now our suspicion is that the boat was overloaded. We did find a lot of camping gear that was floating, and it’s also our understanding that this was their second trip in with camping gear. Again we’ve confirmed with family members that it was a small 14 foot aluminum boat in very rough conditions."

Debris from the capsized boat stretched for about a mile, and it may be days before finding the boat, but that is the one piece of evidence that police hope will provide some answers.

"Once we recover the boat we’ll be able to look at all the equipment and determine the probability of what failed."

New York Coronavirus Cases

County data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 395872

Reported Deaths: 32137
CountyConfirmedDeaths
New York City21636223140
Nassau419472185
Suffolk415381983
Westchester349801426
Rockland13623668
Orange10759478
Erie7427639
Dutchess4231151
Monroe3885273
Onondaga2909188
Albany2130121
Ulster181586
Oneida170897
Sullivan145548
Putnam133363
Niagara126288
Schenectady82437
Broome73658
Saratoga56114
Rensselaer55930
Columbia47437
Madison36017
Orleans28251
Ontario27533
Steuben26841
Warren26630
Greene26318
Fulton26124
Washington24614
Genesee2395
St. Lawrence2222
Oswego2063
Wayne1813
Tompkins1780
Herkimer1723
Chenango1485
Chemung1452
Tioga14324
Livingston1308
Chautauqua1297
Cattaraugus1246
Cayuga1202
Montgomery1194
Clinton1014
Wyoming955
Jefferson930
Delaware914
Otsego845
Seneca700
Allegany631
Schoharie580
Cortland480
Essex460
Yates466
Franklin330
Lewis300
Schuyler130
Hamilton60
Unassigned00
Utica
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Oneonta
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 85° Lo: 57°
Feels Like: 70°
Herkimer
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 66°
Thendara
Clear
66° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 66°
WKTV Radar
WKTV Temperatures
WKTV Severe Weather
Click here to learn more about A Healthier Mohawk Valley
Saluting Those Who Are Proud 2 Serve
Senior Send-Off brought to you by Herkimer College
Menu 2 Go list of takeout dinners & fish fries
WKTV Golf Card - Under 150 left