• 56-year-old man drowns at Buckmaster Pond in Westwood


    WESTWOOD, Mass. -- An active search scene is visible at Buckmaster Pond in Westwood.

    Sky25 was over the active scene as divers searched in the water, reportedly looking for a body.

    Fire officials confirmed that a 56-year-old man died in an apparent drowning, and confirmed the drowning was accidental.

    The man was identified as Brockton native James Kane, according to Westwood Police. 

    Kane's brother, Peter, said James had Parkinson's Disease, and was beloved around Norwood. He was known for cutting people's grass, and his love of swimming.

    "He had a smile on his face, didn't let his Parkinson's get to him," Peter said. "He was stoic and strong willed. A wonderful brother, and I love him very much.

    Peter said he and his younger brother were swimming at the pond when James fell in and never resurfaced.

    "He was sunning, having a wonderful day and obviously fell into the water," Peter said. "He didn't come out, I didn't see it happen."

    Carole Buckley was at the pond on Thursday, but her time on the shoreline was quickly interrupted by a frightening noise on the water.

    "Once we paid attention, it sounded frantic," Buckley said. "Someone screaming 'Help me!' or something. We looked over and saw the sirens coming."

    Police say the call came for a swimmer in distress about 20 feet out in deep, dark water.

    "You don't have to go too far out in the water to where it's as if you're out there at 2 a.m.," Westwood Police Chief Jeff Silva said.

    Silva said Kane went under while out swimming with his brother. Kane only resurfaced about 20 minutes later when divers recovered his body.

    "All accounts appear he suffered some sort of medical episode that we believe was exaggerated dramatically when he submerged underwater."

    Kane was taken from the shore to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Buckley said the whole situation wasn't one she expected to face.

    "Nothing ever happens here. This is such a beautiful, peaceful place," Buckley said. "Just really sad, unsettling. I feel for the family, the gentleman who got stuck and lost in the water."

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    The tragic trend of drownings in Massachusetts prompted a warning from first responders.

    "It's always best, and certainly in hindsight, to go to areas where there are lifeguards designated for public swimming areas," Silva said.

    For Buckmaster Pond, swimming is not allowed. Police say the rule is almost impossible to enforce, and say people need to obey posted signs and only swim where it's allowed or supervised.

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