YWN is publishing this article as a reminder and warning to the thousands of people who will be going “down the Delaware” this summer: WEAR A LIFE JACKET!
Authorities say a New York City man died after falling off a tube he was using to float down the Delaware River in northeastern Pennsylvania over the weekend.
The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area said Sunday that the 51-year-old man, who was not wearing a life jacket, was with a group of people floating on tubes in the river in Pike County but became separated from them, fell into the water and went under.
Emergency crews were called to the area of Tocks Island in Warren County, New Jersey, about six miles north of Delaware Water Gap and the Interstate 80 toll bridge. Rangers and a Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission officer said the victim was found on the Pennsylvania side of the river in Smithfield Township, Monroe County.
Members of the man’s group and others brought him to the shore and began CPR, and efforts to revive him continued as he was moved to a park service boat and taken to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Pocono, where he was pronounced dead.
The Monroe County coroner’s office didn’t immediately release his name pending notification of his family.
Wearing a life jacket is good advice, but it is not enough. If you cannot swim, and swim well, you do not belong in or near any body of water bigger than a drinking glass. I have been in the Delaware River in the same area where the reported victim drowned. I fell off a raft, was wearing a life jacket and I am a capable swimmer. I was never in danger, notwithstanding the rapids, because I could swim and knew how to handle myself in rapids. In the summer, the rapids are much less … rapid, but if you can’t swim, you will get tossed around by the currents. I would be curious to know whether this victim hit his head on the many rocks in the river. Only a strong swimmer can avoid the rocks.