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Multiple agencies respond to sinking vessel

Dan McClelland

On Wednesday, May 1 at approximately 7:05p.m. Dave Francisco, a resident on Emma Street, looking out over the lake from his window said, “he was in the right spot, at the right time.” He saw a boat leaving shore, watched it flip and quickly called 911 and notified them of a sinking vessel with one occupant on the northwest portion of Raquette Pond.

New York State Police, DEC, Tupper Lake Police and Tupper Lake Rescue Squad responded to multiple locations including the Moody Bridge, Municipal Park, Water Street and Underwood Bridge in search of the sinking vessel.

The boater, Lee Roussel, 46, of Tupper Lake, was located close to the northern shore.

A member of the Tupper Lake Rescue Squad was able to use a private watercraft to make contact with and remove Mr. Roussel from the water. Mr. Roussel was found clinging to the floating gas tank of his boat and was not wearing a personal floatation device. He was then taken to the Tupper Lake Municipal Park Boat Launch and transferred to the awaiting ambulance.

The Tupper Lake Rescue Squad then transported Mr. Roussel to Adirondack Health in Saranac Lake for the onset of hypothermia.

His boat sank in the shallow water near where it was found.