NJ resident, 30, is fourth river drowning since June 21

Bushkill. The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area emergency communications center received multiple calls reporting a body floating in the river just upstream from the Interstate 80 toll bridge shortly after 5 p.m. on Sunday.

27 Jul 2020 | 12:07

The body of a 30-year-old New Jersey resident was recovered Sunday, July 28, from the Delaware River within Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

The body was recovered at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday, July 26, by search and rescue crews and dive team members from the National Park Service and several local fire and rescue crews. This makes the fourth river drowning in the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area since June 21.

The park’s emergency communications center received multiple calls reporting a body floating in the river just upstream from the Interstate 80 toll bridge shortly after 5 p.m. NPS rangers and river patrol were dispatched to the area immediately and were on the scene and accompanied by local volunteer crews within minutes, according to Kathleen Sandt, Public Affairs Specialist with the National Park Service, Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

After about an hour, the body was recovered and taken by boat to the Pennsylvania side of the river at Prices Landing, where the victim was declared deceased by the Monroe County Coroner and transferred to Bushkill Emergency Corps for further transport. His name is not being released at this time pending notification of next of kin and family members.

Interviews with other visitors who were picnicking and swimming along the river at the Karamac site, just upstream from where the body was discovered, revealed that the victim was with one of several large groups of people who were recreating at that riverside location. Karamac is on the New Jersey side of Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area off Old Mine Road in Warren County. It is not a designated swimming or picnic area.

This is the fourth drowning in the park in just over month. The first occurred on June 21 when a 20-year old man drowned while attempting to swim across the Delaware River at Milford Beach. The second occurred on Saturday, July 18, when a 51-year old tuber slipped out of his inner-tube and under the water. A 32-year man lost his life while swimming at Bushkill Access on July 20. None of the victims were wearing life jackets.

The NPS reminds all river users to always wear a properly fitted and fastened US Coast Guard-approved life jacket while swimming, floating, fishing, or boating on, or in, the Delaware River.

“The river current is strong and swift, despite calm appearances in some areas, and the depth can change suddenly, often going from knee-deep to over-your-head in a single step,” said Chief Ranger Eric Lisnik. “Wearing a life jacket at all times is a simple thing that everyone can do to ensure a fun and safe day on, and in, the river.”

“The river current is strong and swift, despite calm appearances in some areas, and the depth can change suddenly, often going from knee-deep to over-your-head in a single step. Wearing a life jacket at all times is a simple thing that everyone can do to ensure a fun and safe day on, and in, the river.” --Chief Ranger Eric Lisnik