More than 200 girls from a Frum summer camp in Woodbourne, NY are safe after a massive search and rescue effort was conducted Monday while they were whitewater rafting in the Poconos, due to a concern that some rafters could be missing along the swollen river.
The search, along the Lehigh River in Pennsylvania, began at around 5:00PM when many of the more than 200 people on the river had not been accounted for, 6abc reports.
Officials said the group was a part of a tour from Whitewater River Adventures and they were supposed to take the rafts out at a designated spot, but many missed the mark due to the fast-moving conditions of the river. Heavy rainfall in recent weeks made the current stronger than usual. The rafts that were unable to exit, proceeded another 4 miles south to the next exit point, as they had been instructed before setting out.
A bystander called 911 after a raft was found empty, raising concern that the rafters could be stranded on the river.
Multiple boating units, a state police helicopter and a chopper from Fort Indiantown Gap responded to the scene to assist in the search effort. Dive teams from Walnutport and Ryan Township were also on scene.
Lehighton Fire Chief Pat Mriss said 46 people were rescued by water personnel, because of overturned rafts and sunk rafts that got stuck in trees.
Around 10 p.m. it was reported that authorities were releasing everyone from the scene and the search effort had been suspended.
The rafting company said all missing rafters have been accounted for. It was unclear if any of the girls were actually lost.
One person was reported to have suffered a minor injury and was taken to an area hospital.
The girls thanking rescuers:
(Nat Golden – YWN)