LOWER TYRONE TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – The body of a missing swimmer was pulled from a local creek this morning.
Joseph Gralewski, 22, was swimming with friends Sunday in Jacobs Creek, which is on the border of Westmoreland and Fayette counties.
Gralewski was swinging from a rope into the water when he let go too soon and struck his head on a flat rock before slipping into the water. When he didn’t resurface, a few friends went in after him but it was too late.
The Greensburg dive team was called to the scene to recover Gralewski’s body. They weren’t able to dive Sunday night, but recovered the body within about 15 minutes of entering the water this morning.
The area where Gralewski was found is about 15-feet deep.
The group was swimming in an area that was very difficult for rescuers to reach. It took about a half an hour to get there and rescuers had to ride on ATV’s sometimes going through areas where their vehicles were partially submersed in water. It created a dangerous situation because there was nowhere for rescuers to land a helicopter in the event of an emergency.
State police in Belle Vernon investigated but say no foul place was involved. The Fayette County Coroner’s office will schedule an autopsy. It is unknown at this point if the victim consumed any alcohol before getting in the water.
Experts say there are two rules to live by if you are heading out on area waterways this summer. One, always wear a life jacket. And two, alcohol and the water don’t mix.
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