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3 Drown After Jumping From N.Y. Bridge

June 1, 2006

EDINBURG, N.Y. (AP) _ Three men jumped off a bridge into a lake in the southern Adirondacks Wednesday and drowned, likely stunned by the 50-degree water, officials said.

The three were found in 15 feet of water and firefighter used a pole with a hook on it to pull them from the bottom of Great Sacandaga Lake.

``Once I jumped in, I wanted to get out,″ said Fire Chief Wayne Seelow. ``It was that cold.″

Frank Cortes, 28, and Timothy Jennings, 17, of Amsterdam, were pronounced dead at the scene. Robert Jennings, 21, Timothy’s brother, was airlifted to Albany Medical Center, where he later died.

Autopsies were scheduled Thursday.

Residents of Edinburg, about 40 miles north of Albany, said they often see teens jumping from the bridge, but they added the jumpers usually are from out of town.

``It’s always people who don’t know the lake well,″ said Katrina Farrington, 21. ``We never would have thought of doing that.″

The Sacandaga is a man-made reservoir ringed with vacation homes.