Accident Database

Report ID# 10794

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Accident Description

Search continues for 3 missing men in Mohawk River


Three missing in Mohawk River

LITTLE FALLS -- Three people remain missing in the Mohawk River after they fell out of a paddle boat and were swept away by the current Monday evening.

State police say two brothers, Kevin Moak, 23, and Ryan Moak, 18, and their cousin Terry Moshier, 42, were last seen on the paddle boat near Rotary Park at 4:15 p.m. Witnesses say the men were yelling for help in the rapids. State Police say the paddle boat capsized.

Searches for the missing men have turned up nothing.

"We all responded as quickly as possible and did shoreline bank searches to see if we could see anything," said Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber.

Recent flooding had made this part of the Mohawk River rough and unpredictable. Farber said it has been closed because of the high water levels and the boat passengers took on the moving water without life jackets, seemingly unaware of its strength.

"From what I understand it was their first trip on the paddle boat so maybe a little inexperience led to it," Farber said.

State Police are working with Little Falls Police, The Herkimer County Sheriff’s Office, and the St. Johnsville Fire Department in looking for the three men.

Anyone with information regarding the missing boaters is asked to contact 911 or the State Police headquarters in Oneida at (315) 366-6000.

Police ID missing boaters in Little Falls

By Donna Thompson /

Posted Jul 3, 2017

LITTLE FALLS — The search for three missing boaters continued into late Monday night following a report of a paddle boat going over the falls near Hansen Island late in the afternoon. Missing are Kevin Moak, 23, Ryan Moak, 18, and Terry Moshier, 42, state police in Herkimer said. The three were reported missing from a capsized paddle boat in the Mohawk River.

Emergency crews responded to nearby Rotary Park along the Erie Canal around 4:15 p.m. after the boaters were last seen by witnesses near the rapids yelling for help. Officials reported the boat had been recovered, but there was no sign yet of its passengers.

Herkimer County Sheriff Chris Farber said the paddle boat was made to carry two passengers, and that the recent storm has made the waterway more dangerous. “There should be nobody in that water,” Farber said. “The canal is closed for a reason. There’s a strong current, it’s murky and there’s a lot of debris in the water.”

Little Falls fire Chief Robert Parese Monday night said firefighters responded as quickly as possible, but had seen no sign of the boaters. Firefighters were suited up for a water rescue, but Parese said he would send them in “only if we saw a victim. ... Those are Class 3 and 4 rapids. It’s very, very treacherous.”

The City of Little Falls Police Department, The Herkimer County Sheriff’s Office and the St. Johnsville Fire Department were positioned along the Mohawk River looking for the men. A New York State police helicopter, members from the state police K9 unit and the Special Operations Response Team (SORT) also are involved in the search.

If anyone has information regarding the missing boaters, they are asked to contact 911 or the state police headquarters in Oneida at 315-366-6000.

Police recover bodies of two missing men from Mohawk River

Police have recovered two bodies from the Mohawk River today and they have been identified as Kevin Moak, 23, and Ryan Moak, 18.

The two men are brothers.  

Police have been searching for Kevin, Ryan and their great uncle Terry E. Moshier, 42, since Monday when their paddle boat capsized.

Police found Moshier's body yesterday.

According to witnesses, the three men were last seen yelling for help from a paddle boat near the rapids Monday afternoon.

An autopsy will be completed by the Albany County Medical Examiner's Office to determine the official cause of death.  

State police, along with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, New York State Forrest Rangers, City of Little Falls Police & Fire Department, and the Herkimer County Sheriff's Office worked together in the search.

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