A pair of Ontario girlfriends have made more of a splash in New York City than they could ever have expected. Extensive coverage, including a front page, in the local daily papers. Helicopters watching overhead.

A police escort through Gotham.

And all for taking an afternoon swim Monday in the restricted Central Park reservoir.

These are nervous days in America, when everything could be tied to terrorism. Even bobbing in the Big Apple.

Apparently on a whim, Deirdre Barkhouse, 26, and Analise Spencer, 18, who both live in Niagara Falls, decided the mammoth 43-hectare reservoir -- circled by a huge fence, and a protected source of drinking water -- was too good to pass up on a hot day. So they took the plunge.

That's when they were suddenly over their heads, with the New York Post blaring on its front page: "Central Park Swim Babes Busted."

"They thought they were terrorists," explains Deirdre's mom, Linda Barkhouse, from her Niagara Falls home.

"They took it very seriously. Helicopters in the air and scuba divers in the water."