Updated 07/09/2012 03:17 PM
Teen Drowns in Wilson Harbor
WILSON, N.Y. — Police have released the name of the teenager who drowned at the Wilson Pier on Sunday.
According to the Niagara County Sheriff's Office, 16-year-old Dennis Ash was swimming at the pier just before 4 p.m. Sunday when he went under the water and never came back up.
Ash was pulled out after a 20-minute search. He was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Newfane, where he died.
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“I’m in shock,” said Kayla Wollaber. “I just don’t believe that it actually happened. I’m waiting for it to set in."
For Wollaber, it was difficult to hear the news of her friend’s death.
Deputies with the Niagara County Sheriff's Office say around 3:40 Sunday afternoon, they received several 911 calls involving a 16-year-old boy at the Wilson Pier.
"A male was swimming in the channel between the two piers in Wilson, he went underwater and he didn’t surface," said Sgt. Aaron Schultz, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office. "After approximately 20 minutes or so, the male was located roughly in six to eight feet of water.”
People a nearby boat helped perform CPR on the teen until authorities showed up on scene. The boy was taken to Eastern Niagara Hospital in Newfane where he was pronounced dead.
According to the Sheriff's Office, based on the investigation so far, they believe the victim was ill prepared.
"This individual, from what we've talked to with friends and family, wasn’t a strong swimmer," said Sgt. Schultz. "I would advise that if you are not a strong swimmer, that you should, if you are going to go into the water, swim somewhere where it's patrolled by a lifeguard."
The Niagara County Sheriff’s Office is not releasing the victim's identity until family has been notified. However, friends say they remember coming to this spot in the past with the teen.
"I've pier jumped with him before all the time,” said Wollaber. “We used to do it last summer, all summer long. He was a decent swimmer. It was probably just the current that pulled him in."
"He was a good kid,” said friend Cody Wolfe. “We always came down. We would always be swimming and it's crazy."
Wollaber adds that it will take some time to return to an area that is popular among Wilson’s youth.
"Everyone comes here all the time, but probably won’t come here for a while because we were all friends with him so it'd be hard to swim here," said Wollaber.
An investigating is being conducted by the Niagara County Sheriff's Criminal Investigation Bureau.