Rough water conditions likely cause in cliff diving accident

Local News

The Chautauqua County WET Team has found the body of a local man who drowned while cliff diving. The find comes after having to call off the search yesterday due to the weather.

The Chautauqua County Coroner has identified the victim as 19-year-old Alex Musser of Waterford. Musser’s body was not found until around 10:30 this morning in a cove just off of Ripley Beach.

The thrill-seeking event cliff diving turned deadly when 19-year-old Alex Musser and three of his friends were leaping into the Lake Erie waters near Ripley Beach, which is a private area.

When rescue teams arrived, Musser had already drown, and one teen was clinging onto to the rocks.

Chautauqua Country Sheriff Captain Richard Telford said that area is dangerous and swimmers should never swim in that area.

“Especially last night, the weather conditions, a couple of storms had just moved through. The waves were extremely rough last night, making it extra dangerous,” said Captain Richard Telford, Chautauqua Country Sheriff’s Department.

Musser’s body was not recovered last night due to the rough conditions of the water. It wasn’t until this morning the 19-year-old’s body was recovered. Captain Telford said strong currents also played a factor in Musser’s death.

“Typically when they dive off the cliff they swim to the West, and there is a beach area they come out too. The tide last night was very strong to the East. We think they got carried away in that current,” said Captain Telford.

Captain Telford said this is not the first time they have had a death resulting from cliff diving in the area. Adding swimmers should not dive into the waters near Ripley Beach.

“It’s very unsafe, very unpredictable. We will never recommend doing any sort of cliff diving or swimming in private area’s like that,” said Captain Telford.

There was no foul play involved in this incident, it was simply a tragic accident.

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