MAHWAH — No one was supposed to be swimming in the pond where a 24-year-old man drowned on Monday after losing his balance on a paddle board, according to Mayor James Wysocki.

Divers pulled the body of Mario Morales, 24, out of Dators Pond on Tuesday afternoon after a search by divers in the water, which Mahwah police said is thick with vegetation.

Morales was with his brother on Monday when he fell into the water, according to police. The Morales family told NBC New York that Morales shouted goodbye to his brother as he lost his struggle to resurface.

State Police spokesman Charles Marchan confirmed Morales' identity on Wednesday.

Wysocki told NBC New York that Dators Pond is deep and located on a former industrial site that handled sand and gravel. Swimming is not permitted but people ignore the signs and go to the pond anyway, he told NBC New York .

The Red Cross has these precautions when you’re around water (even if you’re not planning to swim):

  • Know your limitations, including physical fitness, medical conditions.
  • Never swim alone; swim with lifeguards and/or water watchers present.
  • Wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket appropriate for your weight and size and the water activity. Always wear a life jacket while boating, regardless of swimming skill.
  • Swim sober.
  • Understand the dangers of hyperventilation and hypoxic blackout.
  • Know how to call for help.
  • Understand and adjust for the unique risks of the water environment you are in, such as:
    River currents.
    Ocean rip currents.
    Water temperature.
    Shallow or unclear water.
    Underwater hazards, such as vegetation and animals.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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