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Body at Bash Bish Falls recovered

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Contributed photoThe body of 21-year-old Aiden Campion-Pratt has been recovered at Bash Bish Falls.
August 6, 2017 - 12:15 am

MOUNT WASHINGTON — After more than a week in the waters of Bash Bish Falls, the body of a Ghent man has been recovered.

Aiden Campion-Pratt, 21, of Ghent, went missing on Friday, July 28, and a massive search effort was launched by officials in both Columbia County and neighboring Berkshire County in Massachusetts.

The body was located Sunday, July 30, with the use of an underwater camera, but because of the hazardous location could not be retrieved, officials said at the time.

But a week later, Campion-Pratt’s remains were recovered.

“The body apparently became dislodged overnight by natural means from the crevice in which it had been trapped, and was captured by netting placed in the pool below the crevice for just that eventuality,” according to a statement released Saturday by Berkshire District Attorney David Capeless.

The body was transported to the Holyoke chief medical examiner’s office in Massachusetts for an examination that is expected to be conducted Sunday.

“We are grateful that Aiden will be returned to his family and that a measure of closure can be theirs,” Capeless said in the statement. “Our gratitude also goes out to the many investigators and rescue personnel who made this possible.”

Aiden Campion-Pratt was hiking on July 28 when he apparently slipped on a rock and fell into the falls Friday evening at roughly 7:30 p.m., according to Capeless’s office.

Searchers combed the area from Friday evening until Sunday when the body was located in the water at around 12:30 p.m.

But because of where the body was found, rescuers said they were unable to recover it.

“After 24 hours of heroic efforts, rescue personnel on the scene located the body by means of an underwater camera, but eventually came to the reluctant decision that that because of the location, retrieval would not be possible,” according to a statement last Sunday from the Berkshire district attorney’s office.

Further recovery efforts were deemed too dangerous for first responders, but on Saturday the body was successfully dislodged by the water and retrieved.

Those involved in the search and recovery 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 Fire Department, the Columbia County fire coordinator, the Berkshire County fire coordinator and Fastracs Excavating of Red Hook.