The Oneida County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol division was extremely busy this weekend as there were reports of a possible drowning and a rescue on Oneida Lake. Luckily, tragedy was not the result of the incidents.

Oneida County Sheriff Rob Maciol says the first incident happened on Oneida Lake when three individuals were using a canoe. Maciol says a bystander noticed the individuals were in the water on the NYS Barge Canal break wall just before 6:30PM on Sunday. As a result of the report, the Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol responded and upon arrival deputies discovered two individuals clinging to the rock wall trying to hold on to the canoe. The two in the water were identified as 27-year-old Kazin Wurtz and 24-year-old Cheyenne Jaquin, both of Canastota. Officials say neither Wurtz or Jaquin were wearing a life jacket. Marine Patrol was able to rescue the two individuals by throwing them a rescue ring and pulling them onto Sheriff's Patrol Marine 1.

Maciol says a third individual that was originally in the canoe prior to its capsizing, 23-year-old Joshua Booth of Chittenago, was on the boat of a good samaritan who had pulled him out of the water. The three individuals were brought back to the Sylvan Beach NYS Barge Canal Emergency Wall and evaluated by medical personnel. Sheriff Maciol says an investigation revealed that the 3 people were trying to navigate the canoe on Oneida Lake and were not used to the conditions of the lake. The size of the canoe also was not appropriate for the conditions of the lake at the time or to hold three individuals. Ultimately, the three were issued citations for not having personal flotation devices aboard the canoe. They will appear in the Village of Sylvan Beach Court at a later date.

Another assumed tragedy also occurred on Oneida Lake when the Sheriff's Office received a report of a drowning on the north shore of the lake. The call came in to Oneida County Emergency Services at approximately 7:20PM on Independence Day. Sheriff Rob Maciol says during the response, officials learned the reported victim had been pulled from the water and was aboard a vessel receiving CPR. What led up to the event that led to the EMS call? Officials say just before the party docked at their destination, two individuals jumped into the water to swim. One of the individuals struggled to swim and another member of his party threw them a flotation device.

The victim was able to pull himself back on to the boat and the boat completed docking at its destination. Officials say the victim who struggled in the water had endured a medical event which prompted the call to 911. Sheriff's Officials say the victim was evaluated by North Bay Fire Department EMS and signed off further treatment and transport.

The Sheriff's Office continues to encourage anyone who plans to go out on the water in a boat or on another marine vehicle to always wear a life jacket or have one near by. Nobody wants to see a fatality result from something that is supposed to be a fun activity. Always follow and be familiar with boating safety rules and regulations.

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