Gorge search

Rescue Crews wait to be called into duty after a young man lost his footing at the flats just above the Niagara River Whirlpool.

A search of the lower Niagara River for a 15-year-old boy who fell into the swirling waters continued on Tuesday.

The young man slipped off the rocks in an area south of the Niagara River Whirlpool called the flats, roughly under the Spanish Aerocar, on Monday.

On Tuesday, Parks Police were back at the Whirlpool with a drone, ready to put it in the air in the area of the disappearance.

Another pair of officers were walking north of the Whirlpool stairs on the lower gorge trail, engaging with hikers and fishermen. A helicopter hovered over the river as well.

Hikers along the river were oblivious, including one from Seminole County, Fla. who asked a passerby "what are they searching for?"

By late afternoon Tuesday searchers advised that the patrol officers, on foot, the drones and helicopters had searched the lower gorge "from Lewiston to Fort Niagara twice with negative results."  Search teams declared that they were "clearing the area."

As of the Gazette's deadline, the name of the victim, who sources say had connections to Niagara Falls, had not been released.

Monday afternoon, the Whirlpool Rapids Jetboats, officers on foot and helicopters from the State Police and Coast Guard canvassed the unforgiving river.

Parks police would only confirm the young boy, believed to be a youth of about 15, was fishing with his father when he slipped on the rocks.

The area where the boy slipped is easily accessible. It’s marked with signs warning people to stay out of the water and stay on trails.

(Reporter Rick Pfeiffer contributed to this story)

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