WOODLAND PARK —  The body of a 15-year-old Paterson boy was found Sunday morning in the Great Notch Reservoir after he went missing Saturday afternoon.

Mayor Keith Kazmark said an emergency call came in around 3:45 p.m., which prompted an immediate search by Woodland Police police and fire crews.

Divers from the Sheriff's Department, the State Police search team and several surrounding towns also joined the search, which was called off at nightfall.

The boy's body was found by divers from the sheriff's office at about 10 a.m. Sunday.

"I want to thank all our first responders who worked diligently yesterday and today. Their efforts in times like this should give us all strength," Kazmark said.

Search at Great Notch Reservoir in Woodland Park 5/21/22
Search at Great Notch Reservoir in Woodland Park 5/21/22 (Sheriff Richard Berdnik)
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Friends said teen couldn't swim

Police Capt. Michael Brady told NJ.com that friends said the boy had been cliff jumping even though he couldn't swim. His friends tried to rescue him but said they were being “pulled down” in the water.

Great Notch Reservoir is operated by the Passaic Valley Water Commission. Swimming is not permitted in the reservoir. It is located next to Rifle Camp Park, a Passaic County park.

The teen's mother, Shanike Randolph, posted a GoFundMe page to help with funeral expenses.

"The hole I have in my heart can never bring him back but I need some help giving my baby the proper burial service," Randolph wrote. "I can’t change when God has in store but I can keep my baby memory alive."

Randolph did not disclose her son's name but said he is one of four children.

Water rescue elsewhere

Lifeguards rescued three juveniles from Hammonton in Ocean City on Saturday after they got caught in a rip current. One of the teens was unresponsive but breathing on his own. He was taken to Cooper University Hospital.

Paterson teen who drowned at Great Notch Reservoir in Woodland Park
Paterson teen who drowned at Great Notch Reservoir in Woodland Park (Shanike Randolph via GoFundMe)
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Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at dan.alexander@townsquaremedia.com

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