First responders from multiple departments were searching the Saco River in Buxton for a teen who went into the river and never resurfaced on Friday. Photo from video courtesy of News Center Maine WCSH/WLBZ

A diver from the Maine Warden Service recovered the body of a 17-year-old Freeport boy who drowned Friday after using a rope swing on the Saco River in Buxton.

Steel Crawford, who was swimming with friends at Pleasant Point Park, let go of the rope swing and landed awkwardly in deep water and never surfaced, Mark Latti, spokesman for the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, said in a news release.

Maine Game Warden Bruce Loring recovered Crawford’s body at about 7 p.m. in about 50 feet of water, Latti said. Game wardens recovered the body in an area down river from the Route 202 bridge and upriver of the Skelton Dam.

Wardens had been searching by boat and along the shore by foot while they also used a drone flying overhead to provide video of the river.

Family and friends of the boy congregated at Pleasant Point Park. Many appeared to be teenage friends or classmates of Crawford, a rising senior at Freeport High School and a member of the lacrosse team.

Buxton Police Chief Troy Cline urged anyone who intends to use rope swings to exercise extreme caution. Cline said his preference would be to remove the rope swings, but said he would expect kids to put them back up again.

“Just some kids having fun,” Cline told reporters at the park when asked about the tragedy on Friday afternoon.

Wardens were assisted by members of the Buxton Police Department, Buxton Fire Department, Saco Fire Department, Standish Fire Department, York County EMA, Kennebunk Fire Department, Goodwin Mills Fire Department, Hollis Fire Department and Maine State Police.

Staff Writer Scott Thistle contributed to this report.

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