Two men drown in Niagara River at Broderick Park

Jun 26, 2018

Two unidentified men drowned late Monday afternoon in the same stretch of the Niagara River where Buffalo Police diver Craig Lehner died last year.     

Police and bystanders waited at Broderick Park Monday afternoon after two people drowned in the rushing waters of the Niagara River.
Credit Mike Desmond/WBFO

Police say they were called to the scene almost immediately after two men were said to be in trouble in notoriously dangerous water and divers were in the water within minutes but couldn't save the 29-year-old and 46-year-old men.

"It appears as if one victim went in the water attempting to retrieve some driftwood," said Buffalo Police Captain Jeff Rinaldo. 

"Within moments of entering the water, the victim was immediately in trouble. A second victim entered the water in an attempt to rescue the first one. Those attempts failed and ultimately cost the second person his life."

Rinaldo says the railing in Broderick Park is marked, telling people not to go into the water. Still, every year people go into the river at various spots along its course and drown. 

"We can't stress enough how dangerous this water is, down here. You cannot swim in this. You cannot even enter it for a moment. The currents, the rip currents are beyond deadly," Rinaldo said. 

"As we've seen, unfortunately, with the tragedy last year with the loss of our diver, Lt. Craig Lehner."

Buffalo police cars near waterways carry floats to toss to people needing help in the water, offering immediate assistance.   

UPDATE: Buffalo police on Tuesday identified the two men as Mario Guthrie, 29, and Scott Vater, 46, both of Buffalo.