Police issue warning after man drowns saving another swimmer

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BEDFORD, Ohio (WJW) –  Cleveland Metroparks police officials are investigating after a 23-year-old man drowned saving another person who was struggling in the water near the viaduct in the Bedford Reservation.

A spokeswoman with the Metroparks said police responded to the scene around 9:30 p.m. Thursday. When police arrived they located a large group that entered the area from a nearby Bedford neighborhood.

Police recovered the body of the 23-year-old man and rescued two others. All three were taken to a hospital.

Bedford police and firefighters assisted.

“No one should be swimming in that area,” said Bedford Police Deputy Chief Rick Suts. “A young  man lost his life trying to save another person, which he was successful in doing, but was unable to get himself out of the water. This is in an area where no one should have been swimming in the first place.”

There are signs in the area stating  there is to be no swimming, but people continue to go in the water, Suts said.

“It’s dangerous because the way the water moves the water comes through a railroad trestle underneath it and it pushes out to a pool,” Suts said. “The kids like it because it’s fast and they get to go down a smooth tunnel but what happens, it gets up underneath a shale shelf and they get trapped underneath and can’t get back out.”

In the last 10 years, Bedford Firefighters rescued people from the area nine times and recovered four bodies.

Suts says he is worried more people will try and swim in the area this summer because many public pools are closed due to the COVID-19 crisis.

For continuing coverage about the coronavirus pandemic, including the latest on Ohio, head here.

“These kids are looking for an outlet and somewhere to beat the heat,” Suts said. “This is not that place. It’s too dangerous.”

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