Body of hiker who fell at Bash Bish Falls located, identified

BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. — The body of a New York man who fell at Bash Bish Falls has been located — but cannot be recovered, according to Berkshire County DA’s Office.

People reported the swimmer had gone under the water at about 8:30 p.m. on Friday. Officials in New York and Massachusetts initially conducted the search and it was determined the man was in the Mount Washington State Forest in Massachusetts when he disappeared, Chris Rickard, park manager of the Taconic Park.

Mount Washington and Taconic Park in New York are side-by-side and frequently work cooperatively and share resources, he said.

Aiden Campion-Pratt, 21, of Ghent, apparently slipped off a rock and fell into the falls at about 7:30 Friday evening. Rescuers located him at about 12:30 Sunday afternoon.

Rescue personnel located the body by means of an underwater camera, but concluded that because of its location, retrieval would not be possible.

Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless said, “Obviously everyone involved is heartsick in the ultimate outcome. These were great efforts, under difficult and dangerous conditions, that should be recognized, and I want to extend my personal thanks to the many agencies that worked together tirelessly. Special thanks goes to the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation personnel, the office of Columbia County Sheriff David Bartlett and Berkshire County Sheriff Tomas Bowler for their leadership and determined efforts. So many agencies came together to work to one end that unfortunately could not happen.”

Those involved in the search and rescue effort included members of the Western Massachusetts Technical Rescue Team, the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Columbia County, New York Sheriff’s Department, the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Department, Massachusetts State Police detectives assigned to the District Attorney’s Office , the Pittsfield Fire Department, the Egremont Fire Department, the Southern Berkshire Ambulance squad, state troopers assigned to the Lee barracks, the New York State Police, the Copake, New York Fire Department, the Columbia County, New York Fire Coordinator, the Berkshire County Fire Coordinator and Fastracs Excavating of Red Hook, New York.

Some hiking trails are closed. In the Taconic Park the Bash Bish trail is closed. In Mount Washington State Park all the trails out of the Bash Bish falls area are also closed.

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